Report: Apple Envisioned Its Own Healthcare Clinics With ‘Apple Doctors’

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 16 Jun 2021

apple health wwdc 2014

According to a detailed report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple envisioned a plan to launch its own healthcare service in 2016. The report claims that Apple had plans to set up its own clinics, with Apple-employed doctors who would take benefit of health data collected from iPhone and Apple Watch.

Apple has slowly been stepping up its game in the Healthcare sector. The company introduced Apple Health back at WWDC 2014 and since then, the company has added a slew of features making Health one of its primary verticals. A report from WSJ, claims that Apple had an “audacious” plan to launch its own healthcare services with subscription plans and Apple-hired doctors.

However, the report details that the project has been stalled “due to internal conflicts.” The people involved in the project have been since deviated to make products for health-focused devices, such as Apple Watch and its apps.

In 2016, Apple’s COO Jeff Williams asked Apple employees to come up with a project that would “disrupt” the United States’ break-fix model. He asked Apple employees to come up with a system wherein the user wouldn’t see a doctor until ‘something goes wrong.’

To this, his team came up with an idea ‘to provide a medical service of its own.’

“[The service would be] linking data generated by Apple devices with virtual and in-person care provided by Apple doctors. Apple would offer primary care, but also continuous health monitoring as part of a subscription-based personalized health program, according to these people and the documents.”

A year later, in 2017, Apple took over health clinics near the Apple Park area. They turned the healthcare clinics into testbeds for the new service. Apple hired Dr. Sumbul Desai from Stanford University to run the project. The testing at those clinics continues to this day, however, they have yet to move past “a preliminary stage.”

The primary reason for such a delay has been the “off-lays” in the health department. According to people familiar with the matter, Dr. Desai’s unit “discourages critical feedback.”

“Some employees expressed concerns that internal data about the clinics’ performance, data that was recently used to support the rollout of a new digital health app, has been inaccurate or compiled haphazardly, according to the documents and people familiar with the data.”

The idea of launching its own healthcare clinics has been stalled, for now. The company will first try to establish a good healthcare eco-system, and then ‘might move on with the project.’ Recently, a report claimed that Apple had plans to launch its own health hardware products.

What are your thoughts on Apple launching its own healthcare clinics? Let us know in the comments section below!

[Via The Wall Street Journal]