Apple healthcare clinics may have — almost — been a thing. Reportedly, Cupertino explored buying a Health clinic start-up called Crossover Health, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Crossover Health works with larger companies and employers to provide on-site medical clinics and wellness centers. Some of its current customers include Facebook, Microsoft, and yes, Apple. Up until recently, Apple held discussions with Crossover Health concerning a possible acquisition, although even after months of talks, a deal never materialized, CNBC reported.
The medical start-up has clinic locations in both the Bay Area and New York City, and it boasts some of its digitally minded features like easy same-day appointments and a robust smartphone app.
Why Would Apple Purchase a Health Clinic?
It’s currently unclear why a deal never happened, one of the sources said. But Apple has also approached another healthcare startup, One Medical — which provides tech-oriented patient clinics in cities such as Los Angeles, the Bay Area, New York and others.
Similarly, we’re not sure what Apple plans for the acquisition were. It could have used the startup’s foundation to create its own network of Apple-branded clinics, or it could have just partnered with Crossover Health to sell products and services and gather health data. But according to one source, discussions about expanding into first-party primary care have been happening at Apple for over a year.
Apple’s Massive Healthcare Ambitions
Apple has long been trying to position itself as a leader in the healthcare technology market. It’s marketed the Apple Watch as a cornerstone of corporate wellness programs and is working to build a non-invasive blood sugar monitor for the wearable. In addition to the Watch, Apple wants to make its flagship iPhone a “one-stop shop” for a user’s medical and health data.
Similarly, the company has already been making progress in health and medical care with its proprietary CareKit and ResearchKit platforms. The former is an open-source development platform that encourages patients to take an active role in their healthcare while collecting data that can help doctors and researchers find new treatments and therapies. The latter is already redefining how smartphone-based medical research studies are being conducted.
Indeed, healthcare has been an area of interest for Apple for quite some time. In September, CEO Tim Cook told Fortune that Apple has “much more” to accomplish in the health-related spheres, and added that it’s a “big area for Apple’s future.”
In recent years, the company has been hiring dozens of healthcare professionals, including doctors and medical experts, to work at its Cupertino campus. Apple has also entered into medical research partnerships, and has made a handful of healthcare-related acquisitions.
“We believe that health is something that is a huge problem in the world,” Cook said at Startup Fest Europe in May 2016. “We think it is ripe for simplicity and sort of a new view, and we’d like to contribute to that.”
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