Tim Cook’s claim that Apple will one day be best known for its contribution to health sounds peculiar. Step trackers and a watch with electrocardiogram features are no match for the iPhone. Then again, the $7-trillion global spend on healthcare is nearly twice the size of the worldwide spend on IT, so it makes sense for the sector’s largest companies to look for a way in. Google is betting on artificial intelligence (AI) and data. Amazon has returned to the scene of past failure Drugstore.com by buying PillPack for $1bn. Pharmaceutical delivery is a low-margin business but Amazon’s 300-million customers and 100-million Prime subscribers offer the potential for high volume. A potential healthcare insurance deal is expected to come from the company’s partnership with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway. The last initial public offering (IPO) in the sector was iRhythm in 2016, but private investment in health tech startups is still increasing. Seed fund Rock Health estimates that 2018 was ...

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