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Image credit: Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Apple has big plans for health in 2019

The company plans to launch more health-related services this year.
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Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Apple will launch more healthcare-related services this year, Tim Cook has revealed in an interview with CNBC's Jim Cramer. The CEO didn't quite elaborate on the exact nature of those upcoming services, only that Apple has "been working on [them] for multiple years." During the interview, Cook stressed Apple's deepening commitment to health and wellness products. He said that in the future, if anybody asks what Apple's greatest contribution to humankind is, "health" will be the answer.

ResearchKit, a platform for clinical studies hosted by universities and medical researchers, and CareKit, which helps patients manage their illnesses, are a huge deal, Cook said. "We are democratizing [healthcare]. We are taking what has been with the institutions and empowering the individual to manage their health," he added.

Apple has definitely been ramping up its health and wellness efforts in recent years. In addition to releasing ResearchKit and CareKit, it also designed the Apple Watch Series 4 with a built-in electrocardiogram, giving it the power to potentially save lives by detecting heart issues such as irregular heartbeats.

Aside from talking about Apple's healthcare-related ambitions, Cook also slammed Qualcomm in the interview. He said the chipmaker charges exorbitant prices for its patents instead of offering its portfolio "on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis." If you'll recall, the two tech giants have been battling it out in court for a while, with the chipmaker accusing Cupertino of infringing on its patents. Most recently, Qualcomm paid $1.5 billion for security bonds to ensure Apple can't sell its older iPhones in Germany.

Cook also criticized Qualcomm for its marketing tactics. According to reports last year, the chipmaker hired controversial PR firm Definers to spread damaging stories about Apple. "The paying somebody to write fake news and then promoting it: This is stuff that should be beneath companies," Cook said. "This is not how things should operate."

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