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Apple will disrupt healthcare like the iPhone did to the mobile industry, says John Sculley

Former Apple CEO John Sculley speaking on CNBC

Former Apple CEO John Sculley says that current CEO Tim Cook is on to something, and will shake up the healthcare industry like it did to the mobile world with the iPhone.

Cook is "absolutely onto something" in moving Apple into the healthcare field, Sculley advised to CNBC, adding plans "may well be the great legacy" Cook is seeking for the company. Scully is referencing Cook's recent interview where he suggested "Apple's greatest contribution to mankind" will be "about health."

Sculley believes Apple's work will "go from curiosity to useful to indispensable. And indispensable means it's got to do things that are significantly more capable in terms of health and preventative care than what we have today." This can include wearable devices or other elements that can allow patients to perform a self-diagnosis, "where the consumer can have a bigger role, just as they have in other industries."

In terms of how much of an impact Apple could have, Sculley suggests it could be similar to how the iPhone made seismic changes to the mobile industry. To Sculley, the iPhone gradually acquired market share from competitors including BlackBerry, Nokia, and Motorola, while its camera helped revolutionize photography and led to the bankruptcy of Kodak in 2012.

"We're going to see something similar in health," advised Sculley.

The public doesn't always get to see the "big" plans of company executives, he adds, with major tech firms said to be "at the very beginning of the indispensable role of health tech" with wearables.

"We're about to move into an era where sensors and algorithms are getting more powerful," he mused. "Technology and healthcare is moving from a vertically siloed, highly inefficient industry. The big health-care players want to move to platforms, they want it to be a horizontal model, just like we've seen successfully in retailing and in fintech and others."

Apple is already arguably leading the rest of the industry in health and fitness tracking, with the Apple Watch Series 4 helping to save lives shortly after its ECG functionality was enabled, and the Apple Heart Study becoming the largest arrhythmia study of all time.

It is believed Apple has as many as