Apple will soon launch its own health care network for company employees and their dependents, according to a new report and a quietly published website.
The Cupertino tech giant is slated to open a pair of health clinics this spring in Santa Clara County, where Silicon Valley is located, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC. The clinics will apparently be part of what Apple is calling the “AC Wellness Network,” an independent medical practice exclusively for Apple workers and families.
According to the AC Wellness website, the health care clinics will deliver “compassionate, effective healthcare to the Apple employee and dependent population” in the area.
Apple has posted a series of job listings for its AC Wellness network on various platforms, including LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Indeed. Those listings reveal that at least one AC Wellness facility, the so-called Apple Wellness Center, will be located at Apple HQ in Cupertino, California.
They also suggest that the firm is looking for a wide range of medical and care talent, including physicians, nurses, a behavioral health partner, and a clinical exercise coach. The process of going to one of these clinics itself is meant to be a “unique concierge-like healthcare experience.” Presumably, with a healthy dose of preventative and general wellness care, as well as diet and exercise programs.
Interestingly, Apple’s job postings also reveal that AC Wellness is seeking “designers” whose primary focus will be to put together healthy living programs for Apple employees and the clinic’s patients.
This isn’t the first we heard of a first-party Apple clinic. Last October, reports suggested that Apple discussed purchasing its own in-house clinic provider, Crossover Health. Though no deal ever materialized, it was a hint at Apple’s future plans. And in the wake of preparing its in-house network, Apple has scaled back its contract with that firm.
For one, the move makes sense for Apple as a high-profile tech juggernaut. High-quality and first-party health care could be one facet of attracting and keeping talent — and the news about Apple closely follows a similar initiative rumored for Amazon, Engadget reported.
But there’s another motive that’s likely at play here. Sources familiar with the plans told CNBC that Apple will leverage its in-house medical facilities as a way to “test out” its proprietary health technology and products.
It’s no secret that Apple has been making a move into the first-party health service sector. From actual care-related products like a rumored glucose monitoring device to health platforms like CareKit and ResearchKit, Apple has increasingly focused on health in recent years.
That focus has, thus far, peaked in a recently announced medical partnership with Stanford University, the Apple Heart Study, a first-of-its-kind research initiative studying atrial fibrillation using the Apple Watch. Apple even runs its own lab where it’s reportedly collected more fitness data than anywhere else.
Presumably, Apple could use its first-party health care facilities to help develop and refine its health and wellness products in an actual clinical environment. And while “Apple Health” clinics for the general populace might not be on the horizon, it’s worth venturing that Apple still wants to be on the tip of the spear of emerging health technologies.