Apple + Epic leads to Jim Cramer + John Lynn

Last week TV personality and host of CNBC’s Mad Money waded into the world of Health IT by suggesting that Apple could get its innovation mojo back by buying EHR giant Epic. To Cramer’s surprise, the segment generated the most intense social media response in the history of his show.

“Turns out that story was a lot more provocative than I actually anticipated,” Cramer said Wednesday. “It’s kind of exactly what I was going for, though. The whole point was to start a discussion, to figure out how Apple’s stock can get its mojo back and possibly put its technology to work to revolutionize and innovate the health-care industry on behalf of you, the customer.”

You can watch the original segment embedded below.

The impetus behind Cramer’s Apple+Epic idea was Apple CEO Tim Cook’s statement during an interview: “When you look back and ask the question about what was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind…it will be about health.” Buying an EHR company like EPIC would, in Cramer’s opinion, firmly entrench Apple in the healthcare industry on both the consumer and enterprise sides of the business.

According to CNBC, the common reactions to the segment were:

  • Apple doesn’t know anything about the enterprise and should stay out
  • Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner will never sell
  • No one trusts Apple with their data, health data especially
  • A mega-merger like that is bound to fail

The volume of responses was such that Cramer addressed them in a follow-up segment that aired on Wednesday. [spoiler alert: pay attention at the 7:50 mark]

After watching the original segment, John wrote an article that examined the Apple+Epic from both a  technology and business perspective. In it, he rightly points out the fallacy that somehow “Apple’s magical fairy dust mojo will rub off on Epic” and suddenly make the EHR so much better that hospitals will abandon their multi-million dollar investments in Cerner, Allscripts and MEDITECH to jump to Apple+Epic.

What stood out for Cramer was John’s balanced comment:

If Judy was to sell, Apple is an interesting acquirer. Apple has created more trust in how it handles data than most technology companies and that’s something that would be valued by Judy and Epic. Is it enough? Probably not today. I think Judy still trusts herself and Epic to protect their clients’ data 1000 times more than she would trust Apple to do so.

Kudos to John Lynn for taking the time to craft such a fantastic article that fully explores the idea of Apple+Epic and kudos to Jim Cramer for doing a follow up episode to address the reaction to his original story.

Civil, professional discourse with mutual respect is possible. Warms my heart to see it.

About the author

Colin Hung

Colin Hung

Colin Hung is the co-founder of the #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat one of the most popular and active healthcare social media communities on Twitter. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.