Jan 17, 2019

Americans have big hopes that Big Tech can improve health care

An Apple Watch Series 4 is capable of generating an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram. Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

People are bullish about the role big tech can play in health care. In a PwC survey, majorities said they’re at least somewhat confident tech companies will be able to: improve patient satisfaction, reduce costs, simplify health care, and make personal health care information more accessible to patients

Yes, but: It hasn’t happened yet. The most significant progress so far would be on that last front, making personal health data more accessible — that’s where Apple is focusing a lot of its health care energy, and the early reviews are generally pretty positive. But even that is still in its early stages.

The latest: Apple is trying to get Medicare Advantage insurers to offer subsidized Apple Watches to seniors, for use as health trackers, CNBC’s Christina Farr reports.

Other tech companies have made moves into the health care world, none splashier than Amazon buying PillPack, but they’ve largely been pretty traditional moves.

The big picture: So far, Silicon Valley seems to be better at getting a piece of the health care system than changing it.

Go deeper: Health is Apple's next really big thing

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Wall Street notches worst week for stocks since 2008

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

Stocks closed down about 1% on Friday, ending the worst week for Wall Street since the financial crisis.

Why it matters: The stretch of declines came after a spike in coronavirus cases around the world earlier this week. The steep losses prompted questions about the fate of the record-long economic expansion, as well as a rare statement from the Federal Reserve.

Go deeper: The growing coronavirus recession threat

Federal Reserve: Coronavirus poses "evolving risk" to the economy

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell took the rare move Friday of issuing a statement meant to reassure investors, one that opened the door to a possible interest rate cut.

Why it matters: The Fed rarely issues statements like this outside of policy meetings and scheduled public appearances. It came as the stock market continues its steep decline this week. Stocks briefly pared some losses after the 2:30 p.m. EST statement came out.