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There’s no doubt that a company as big as Apple is going to have at least some extent of government involvement in its business dealings. Whether its the Federal Communications Commission certifying a new iPhone or iPad for use on domestic wireless networks, or the Federal Bureau of Investigation outright threatening the tech-giant to unlock encrypted iDevices within its possession — chances are, if it’s a device made in Cupertino, it had and likely continues to run circles around the offices of federal agencies, big and small.
However, regardless of the reason behind them, these aforementioned meetings usually become public knowledge — or, at the least, can become public knowledge, thanks in part to the 1967 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Yet it’s a simple FOIA request that revealed some rather interesting information, according to a recent Business Insider report. Apple has apparently been conducting a number of “secret meetings” with U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) officials — several of them, as a matter of fact — over the course of the last few years. However, unlike meetings between Apple and other government agencies, those conducted between Cupertino and the FDA remained completely under the radar — until Mobi Health News was able to obtain a slew of heavily redacted emails between top Apple brass and the FDA.
“But what could Apple have to talk about with the FDA?” one might ask. Well, according to the documents obtained by Mobi Health News, Apple and the FDA have been actively discussing health diagnostic apps, as well as “multiple unreleased health devices.”
So what exactly did they talk about? Apple and the FDA, according to the emails, discussed two main things: one of them being [at least two] different “products in the cardiac space,” and the other being “a diagnostic app for Parkinson’s disease.”
What exactly is implied by “products for the cardiac space” remains unclear — and the emails, perhaps intentionally, don’t reveal any additional information to that effect. However, we already know that Apple’s current wearable — the Apple Watch — has been declared the most effective heart rate monitoring wearable around. And so, it’s reasonable to assume that Cupertino is looking to create “other wearables” — devices that could, quite possibly, be even more effective at monitoring the human heart than Apple Watch.
And, as far as the app for patients with Parkinson’s disease is pertinent, we also know that Apple is working with medical institutions to create apps, based on the company’s CareKit platform, which could actually diagnose the condition — and, of course, if such an app is to ever see the light of day, it would first have to pass through the FDA’s rigorous research and testing processes.
Only time will tell what Apple really has in store — health diagnostic apps and products wise. However, what’s clear from these revelations is that Cupertino’s health ambitions are much more far-reaching than the company’s current slate of products and services being offered to the public.
What do you think about Apple’s health and medical ambitions? Let us know in the comments!