Apple plans to run its own healthcare service using device data, though plans have stalled: report

Apple plans to run its own healthcare service using device data, though plans have stalled: report
AP Photo/Paula Bronstein
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Tech giant Apple is seeking to run a network of clinics operated by doctors hired through the company, who will use health data generated by its devices, according to a new report. 

The company would offer primary care services alongside continuous health monitoring through a subscription-based program, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The plan was initially devised in 2016 by an Apple team after the company’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams discussed with employees America’s “363” care model, in which patients rarely see their doctors more than twice a year, and only if they are sick or injured. 

The journal reported that if the company could successfully use the vast amount of health data generated by its devices such as the Apple Watch to improve primary care, the company would be able to sell the system to other health care groups, and even entire countries. 

Apple began to test its primary-care plan on its own employees in 2017 under the code name “Casper,” hiring Stanford University’s Dr. Sumbul Desai to oversee the effort, according to the report.

The company is allegedly still running tests but struggling to advance the program due to concerns about users’ data and privacy. 

As Casper has struggled to get off the ground, Apple has turned its attention toward the Apple Watch, which has health functions such as heart-rate monitoring and sleep monitoring, according to the report. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook appears to have his sights set on big long-term health care plans for the company. 

“I really believe that if you zoom out to the future and you look back to ask: ‘What has Apple’s greatest contribution been?’ It will be in the wellness-and-health area,” he said in a 2020 interview

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