Will Apple replace your doctor?
Apple is opening technology-driven healthcare centers for its employees
Apple is pushing to launch two new healthcare centers for its employees and family members. Called AC Wellness, the clinics are set to open this spring with one on Apple's new campus, according to its web site, first spotted by CNBC.
Hiring listings for the new center include those for an acute care physician, medical assistant and phlebotomist, the medical person primarily tasked with drawing blood. The roles indicate this is hardly a standard company clinic where employees can run up for flu shots. And Apple is emphasizing on its site that the centers will be a "...concierge-like healthcare experience for employees and their dependents."
Apple's interest in healthcare is hardly new. The company has been focused on how technology could support medical care for years. Tim Cook has been reportedly testing a wearable that can read his glucose levels. A watchband for Apple Watch has earned approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its ability to detect atrial fibrillation (AFib). And the Apple Watch itself is being used in studies to pick up heart irregularities.
But a full-fledged medical center run by Apple is a bigger move for the technology giant. While medical centers have been integrating telehealth options, such as remote visits with doctors, into their care for several years, a technology company moving into healthcare is a flip on that model. Amazon made a similar announcement recently, that it would be launching its own health care company for its staff.
The use of connected devices to help people monitor their own health needs is expected to be a big growth area, climbing as high as $117 billion by 2020, according to Market Research. There are even medical-related Alexa Skills that can help those with diabetes track their insulin use or get wait times for local hospitals.
Technology will play a heavy role in Apple's new centers, as the company indicates on its site. And Apple may be using the medical centers as more than an additional perk for its employees but as "an environment of continuous learning..." which regular consumers may one day reap the benefits from as well.