Calling Augmented Reality (AR) the next big thing in technology, Apple CEO Tim Cook has reiterated his commitment towards building more preventive healthcare tools in devices like Apple Watch.
In a conversation with IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan here on Monday, Cook said the company is investigating technology that could help identify health risks at an early stage, reports Silicon Republic.
"I think you can take that simple idea of having preventive things and find many more areas where technology intersects healthcare, and I think all of our lives would probably be better off for it," Cook said.
The cost of healthcare can "fundamentally be taken down, probably in a dramatic way" by integrating healthcare technologies in consumer devices like Apple Watch, he added.
The medical fraternity has welcomed the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch (Series 4 and 5) that can help identify atrial fibrillation, or AFib which is the most common form of arrhythmia.
The sound-monitoring Noise app and menstrual cycle tracking Cycle app have also been released with watchOS 6.
"Most of the money in healthcare goes to the cases that weren't identified early enough. It will take some time but things that we are doing now -- that I'm not going to talk about today -- those give me a lot of cause for hope," Cook told Shanahan.
There have been numerous cases where Apple Watch has saved lives globally.
IDA also presented Cook with the inaugural 'Special Recognition Award' for Apple's 40 years of investment in Ireland.
Calling AR the "next big thing" in tech, Cook said he thinks it's something that doesn't isolate people.
"We can use it to enhance our discussion, not substitute it for human connection, which I've always deeply worried about in some of the other technologies," said the Apple CEO.
Cook always compared AR with the ubiquitous smartphones.
"I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone. The smartphone is for everyone, we don't have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it's for everyone. I think AR is that big, it's huge," Cook told The Independent newspaper.
I view AR like I view the silicon here in my iPhone, it's not a product per se, it's a core technology," he said.