Photographer: Getty Images

Apple’s Cook Says Health Tracking Ripe for a ‘New View’

  • Monitoring your body should be like maintaining your car
  • Learning to code should be a requirement at school, CEO says

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook says the health monitoring market is ready for new technology innovation and tracking your body should be more like keeping tabs on the performance of your car.

“If you drive for a while and your car gets too hot, it says pull over. If you need an oil change, it says check your oil. What’s the equivalent for the body?” Cook said Tuesday in Amsterdam at a conference. “We believe health is a huge issue around the world and we think it’s ripe for simplicity and a new view.”

Tim Cook at Startup Fest.
Tim Cook at Startup Fest.
Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg

Apple’s smartwatch already tells people to get up, walk around or exercise, but in the future such devices will know more about the body and could advise users on getting a doctor’s check-up for example, Cook said. While full monitoring won’t necessarily fit into a single device, and is more likely to be a result of experiments with several solutions, health is part of the end-game for the Apple Watch, he said.

“The holy grail of the watch is being able to monitor more and more of what’s going on in your body,” Cook said. “If you could have a device that knew so much about you, it would be incredible, and would extend life and extend quality. I’m not saying one device will do all of that.”

Investors are seeking proof that Apple can create new products to reignite revenue growth after the company warned that the sales decline it experienced in the fiscal second quarter would continue in the subsequent three months. Cook has also been making a global push into countries like India and has backed Uber’s China rival Didi Chuxing with a $1 billion investment this month.

“If you look at some things we’re doing that don’t drive revenue but have massive interest from our teams, health is very much one of them,” Cook said.

Code Education

Cook, speaking to an audience including entrepreneurs as well as European politicians and regulators, said the region should focus on education and churning out talent to encourage innovation in technology.

“We fundamentally believe coding is a language and should be required at school,” Cook said. “It should be a requirement from fourth or fifth grade. Coding is as important if not more than the second language people learn.”

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