Apple — the maker of the iPhone and world’s most valuable company — is preparing to take its much anticipated step into the healthcare market with the launch of employee wellness centres.
The group of health clinics — called AC Wellness — will serve Apple’s employees and their families from the spring, it was first reported by CNBC, citing sources familiar with the companies plans.
Timeline for US tech giants
Apple’s cautious move into the healthcare market follows news earlier this year that Amazon will team up with investment giant Berkshire Hathaway and US bank JP Morgan Chase to create a new not-for-profit healthcare company for their collective 1m employees.
Job ads for designers, analysts, medical coders, nurse coordinators, nurse practitioners, and health educators have also appeared on recruitment sites LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Indeed, suggesting AC Wellness will operate in the Santa Clara area.
What has been said:
According to the recently launched ACWellness.com, the
AC Wellness is an independent medical practice dedicated to delivering compassionate, effective healthcare to the Apple employee population.
[The] AC Wellness Network believes that having trusting, accessible relationships with our patients, enabled by technology, promotes high-quality care and a unique patient experience.
This is fostered by an environment of continuous learning and teamwork, which in turn allows us to work with our patients to achieve exceptional health outcomes. The centres offer a unique concierge-like healthcare experience for employees and their dependants. Candidates must 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.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook recently described the healthcare industry as an area where the company could make a “meaningful impact”.
Why it matters:
Many companies have tried to break into the healthcare market in recent years, though the big US tech giants are considered best placed to do so.
Others have tried to provide healthcare alternatives for their employees in the past, including retail giant Walmart and industrial supplier Caterpillar.
When Amazon’s move into the healthcare market was announced last month shares of US healthcare companies fell across the board.
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Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, said:
The health care system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty.
Hard as it might be, reducing health care’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort.
News of AC Wellness arrives months after reports claimed Apple was considering the purchase of Crossover, an in-house clinic startup that counts Apple and Facebook among its customers.