Apple COO Jeff Williams on tech and health care: 'we can't think of anything more significant'

Key Points
  • Apple COO Jeff Williams addressed a crowd in Taiwan at partner company TSMC's 30th anniversary celebration.
  • He talked about Apple's future, including its focus on on-device computing and AI.
  • Williams believes that one big industry that Apple could make a difference is health care.
Jeff Williams
David Paul Morris | Getty Images

Apple's chief operating officer Jeff Williams believes that advances in hardware and AI will revolutionize the way health care is delivered.

Williams delivered the remarks on Monday at an event hosted by Taiwanese chip maker TSMC about the company's next decade.

"Probably one of the most significant examples of this is the opportunity to use transistor tech advances and power scaling to revolutionize health care. We think the (health) industry is ripe for change," he told the audience.

"We think there is tremendous potential to do on-device computing, to do cloud computing as well, and to take that learning through machine learning, deep learning and ultimately artificial intelligence, change the way health is delivered," he said.

"We can't think of anything more significant than this."

Apple has made some early forays into health care with its software toolkits for developers, ResearchKit, HealthKit and CareKit, as well as through its health and fitness-tracking Apple Watch.

At its most recent developers conference, WWDC, the company also shared stories of how Apple Watch's heart rate sensor picked up on the early signs of disease, prompting users to seek help before it was too late. Now, the company is investing big in research to find out if it can use the device's existing sensors to detect serious medical conditions.

The iPhone maker is also working on several research and development initiatives, including novel blood sugar sensors that might someday benefit millions of people worldwide with diabetes. The company is also exploring a move into primary care to improve the processes of care delivery.

This is one of the few occasions that Williams has spoken out about health care. Apple CEO Tim Cook has also talked about Apple's interest in the space, even taking steps to learn about the experiences of patients by sporting a glucose monitor.

Watch the full speech here.