Apple is focused on health care more than ever before, and if recent rumors hold any weight, the iPhone could become an essential component of your future visits to the doctor’s agency.
The company’s fledgling health care unit reportedly has a squad prosecuting an ambitious goal: to build a clinical data and record keeping platform for the iPhone. The programme aims to create a system that would dedicate every user a unified health profile for easy access to information about every check-up, test outcome, prescription, and more, essentially putting your entire medical history right in your pocket.
A platform like this could help to solve the health care industry’s data sharing troubles by making it easier to exchange information, which is referred to as “interoperability.” It would conceivably bring ordering to the jumbled, disparate systems that are now oversee our medical histories, which are typically scattered across the records systems of multiple physician’s offices and hospitals rather than one centralized place.
The team is reaching out to “developers, hospitals, and other industry groups” to bring them into the fold, according to CNBC, which cites a half-dozen people familiar with the project as part of the report.
A platform like this would require an entirely new cloud-based system to host all that data, and one of CNBC’s sources claimed that the Apple team is scouting start-ups in the space for potential acquisitions. Picking one of those companies won’t be a matter of cost, since Apple has more than $250 billion of cash on hand; instead, discovering the perfect fit to manage the system will be more important.
The Apple team has had discussions with multiple groups that are already working to create a more unified system for health records, according to the sources. They specifically named The Argonaut Project, which wishes to cement interoperability criteria across the industry and The Carin Alliance, which is focused on improving customer access to their digital health records.
A shift in focus
The sources told CNBC that the work represents a shift in Apple’s health care strategy, which has thus far been centered on fitness tracking and wellness with the Apple Watch and the iPhone’s HealthKit.
That’s not to say that work has been unsuccessful; the Apple Watch stimulated headlines lately after it was used as a platform to see a common heart abnormality more accurately than conventional methods, and a non-invasive glucose monitoring prototype spotted on Tim Cook’s wrist could make the wearable an essential medical machine for millions. But bringing a revolutionary health care feature to the iPhone, the most popular smartphone in the U.S ., could construct the company a heavy hitter in service industries instantly.
Apple declined to comment on CNBC’s report, and its reps didn’t respond to our requests for additional information.
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