Apple argues it’s now a major force in the healthcare world

Apple Inc published a nearly 60-page report on July 20 outlining all its health features and partnerships with medical institutions, arguing that such offerings are key to the tech giant’s future.

The company pointed to its breadth of existing services – from sleep monitoring and fitness classes to atrial-fibrillation detection and cycle tracking – and promised to build on that foundation. Chief operating officer Jeff Williams, who oversees Apple’s health endeavors, said in a statement attached to the report that the company will continue to innovate in “science-based technology”.

“The health innovations we’ve pioneered have aimed to help break down barriers between users and their own everyday health data, between healthcare providers and patients, and between researchers and study participants,” he said.

The report serves as a response to Apple critics, who have knocked the company for not doing as much as rivals in health care. Though the Apple Watch dominates the market, the device hasn’t always gotten novel health features as quickly as competitors’ products. And fellow tech titans such as Amazon.com Inc and Google have made ambitious forays into the medical field – with mixed results.

Apple is arguing that it’s a pioneer in health technology and positioned to use it as a growth driver in the years ahead. Already, fitness features are a major selling point for the Apple Watch, and the company plans to add capabilities related to women’s health and body-temperature monitoring as part of a new lineup coming this year, Bloomberg has reported. Apple also is working on technologies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring that could come later.

Health technology is one of several categories that Apple hopes will help maintain sales growth. The company is also working on a mixed-reality headset for next year, along with augmented reality glasses, foldable devices and a self-driving electric car.

While the company doesn’t charge for its health features directly, the enhancements could help fuel sales of future devices. The company also offers a Fitness+ subscription service that could eventually add more health tie-ins.