It’s shaping up to be an interesting year in healthcare.

Just weeks after Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan announced the formation of their own healthcare company, news broke that Apple is launching its own group of medical clinics, AC Wellness.

AC Wellness, going live in Spring 2018, will be “an independent medical practice dedicated to delivering compassionate, effective healthcare to the Apple employee population,” according to its website. And with Apple employing 123,000 people, AC Wellness will service, in effect, an entire city.

Here we have another example of a bellwether brand taking healthcare management into its own hands. As with the Amazon/Berkshire Hathaway/JP Morgan alliance, the inspiration for AC Wellness is a desire to manage healthcare costs.

As the name AC Wellness implies, Apple’s approach will focus on keeping patients healthy through wellness care. According to the AC Wellness website, its healthcare centers will “offer a unique concierge-like healthcare experience for employees and their dependents.” In addition, AC Wellness seeks to employ professionals who “have an appreciation for the patient experience and passion for wellness and population health — integrating best clinical practices and technology in a manner that drives patient engagement.”

Those words speak volumes about Apple’s healthcare aspirations. Apple has been a partner to healthcare providers for years, offering software such as ResearchKit that helps medical providers collect and analyze patient data to improve care.

But Apple has also been involving from partner to active participant, too. The company has been gradually developing software that patients can use to monitor their health using iPhones and the Apple Watch. For example, on January 24, Apple signaled its intent to become a player in electronic records management when the company announced that its Health app will make it possible for iPhone users to get control of their own medical records.

The announcement was one of many Apple has made over the years as part of the company’s strategy to provide wellness and clinical care through its software and devices.

What makes AC Wellness especially intriguing is the potential for Apple to improve wellness care practices through its software, hardware, and network of 123,000 employees. Obviously, the Apple employee network will constitute a population willing to embrace Apple’s vision for using data to manage personal health. But the story does not end with Apple. No doubt Apple will:

  • Report what it learns about wellness care through the services AC Wellness will provide by combining technology and clinical care.
  • Build upon its network of medical providers to extend its best practices throughout the healthcare industry at large.

For most businesses, a major development such as AC Wellness would be highly aspirational. But Apple already has the infrastructure in place to deliver wellness care. Now it just needs to bring aboard the talent. For now, AC Wellness is another wake-up call to healthcare providers to step up the transition to wellness care.

For more insight into how to attract and retain patients through technology, consulting, and business intelligence, contact us. We’re here to help.