Apple investigated purchase of medical clinic start-up, signals larger push into healthcar...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2017
As part of an intensifying focus on holistic health care and supporting products, Apple was recently in talks to buy health clinic start-up Crossover Health, and approached primary care group One Medical, though the discussions ultimately fell through.




Citing sources familiar with the matter, CNBC reports Apple has been investigating an expansion into primary health care for more than a year. Recent talks with Crossover, which went on for "months," and One Medical could be part of a larger vision that extends far beyond digital fitness devices like Apple Watch.

Crossover currently works with self-insured employers to set up on-site clinics focusing on health and wellness, the report said. Apple and Facebook are among the firm's customers. In addition to large companies, the start-up runs clinics in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Perhaps of interest to Apple is Crossover's backend technology. The start-up's digital platform streamlines patient scheduling, appointment check-ins and notifications through a dedicated app and online interface. Clients also have access to personal health records, an area of intense interest for Apple.

In 2016, Apple was said to have purchased personal health data start-up Gliimpse, which sought to untangle "incomprehensible electronic medial records" and condense them into standardized coded elements. More recently, Apple in June began a partnership with Health Gorilla to bring centralized diagnostic data to its HealthKit and CareKit platforms.

Whether Apple plans to run its own network of primary health care clinics is unknown. As noted by CNBC, a push into primary health care facilities could be a boon for the company's retail stores, and might serve as a plinth for a more advanced Apple Watch device.

With a renewed focus on health and fitness, the latest Apple Watch devices present users with a digital toolset to get and stay healthy. From the onboard heart rate monitor to first-party apps like Stand and Breathe, Apple is zeroing in on the health conscious consumer.

The company's health team is also making moves behind the scenes. Earlier this year, reports claimed Apple is dedicating R&D assets to develop a breakthrough glucose sensor for Apple Watch. Thought to be at work on the project is recent hire Dr. Rajiv Kumar, a pediatric specialist who formerly worked for Stanford Children's Health.

Kumar is just one of many new members to join Apple's growing health team. In June, the company hired Dr. Sumbul Desai, a key figure in Stanford's digital health program, while Duke University researcher Dr. Ricky Bloomfield joined Apple last November.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    If there was an Apple Hospital™ or Apple Health Services™ chain, I'd definitely join up or demand to go there if ever needed.
    rob53RacerhomieXradarthekatcali
  • Reply 2 of 39
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
  • Reply 3 of 39
    RacerhomieXRacerhomieX Posts: 95unconfirmed, member
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    go to sleep.
    LukeCageStrangeDaysSolitmaycaliGeorgeBMacNotsofast
  • Reply 4 of 39
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    go to sleep.
    So you think Apple becoming a conglomerate is a good thing? What’s next, Apple branded health food stores?
  • Reply 5 of 39
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,028member
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    go to sleep.
    So you think Apple becoming a conglomerate is a good thing? What’s next, Apple branded health food stores?
    Wouldn't mind Apple branching out a bit. Health food stores might be a little too small of an idea. I wouldn't mind seeing them more involved in the medical field, definitely as a bank, definitely as a cellular and internet provider, not so much as car manufacturer (especially autonomous vehicles), definitely not into rocket ships, in other words, adding things other than just computer hardware and computer services. I don't want them to look like Amazon or Google, who make almost nothing people actually use other that an on-line store and a company that sells my personal information. Wall Street might like these but they really don't help people. 
  • Reply 6 of 39
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    go to sleep.
    So you think Apple becoming a conglomerate is a good thing? What’s next, Apple branded health food stores?

    This seems to me like Apple wants to strength its own health team while at the same time getting real world experience. The Health Care Industry is huge and complex, if Apple can better understand how a real live clinic functions, the better their health focus products can be. 
    StrangeDaystmaycalislprescottGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 7 of 39
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE.
    Hmm yes could you provide your source for this claim?
    randominternetpersontmay
  • Reply 8 of 39
    rob53 said:
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    go to sleep.
    So you think Apple becoming a conglomerate is a good thing? What’s next, Apple branded health food stores?
    Wouldn't mind Apple branching out a bit. Health food stores might be a little too small of an idea. I wouldn't mind seeing them more involved in the medical field, definitely as a bank, definitely as a cellular and internet provider, not so much as car manufacturer (especially autonomous vehicles), definitely not into rocket ships, in other words, adding things other than just computer hardware and computer services. I don't want them to look like Amazon or Google, who make almost nothing people actually use other that an on-line store and a company that sells my personal information. Wall Street might like these but they really don't help people. 
    Why should they be involved in medical field but not autonomous vehicles? Your list seems random. I don’t want Apple to become what Google was becoming before their current CFO reigned things in (i.e. unfocused).
  • Reply 9 of 39
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE.
    Hmm yes could you provide your source for this claim?
    Um, this story?
  • Reply 10 of 39

    LukeCage said:
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    go to sleep.
    So you think Apple becoming a conglomerate is a good thing? What’s next, Apple branded health food stores?

    This seems to me like Apple wants to strength its own health team while at the same time getting real world experience. The Health Care Industry is huge and complex, if Apple can better understand how a real live clinic functions, the better their health focus products can be. 
    And Apple has to acquire clinics to be able to do that? Seems to me they’d be better off partnering. I work for a large health insurance company that has a huge data analytics arm. That’s who Apple should partner with if they want to dip their toe deeper into the heath care waters.
  • Reply 11 of 39
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    Are you advocating that Apple remove bio sensors from the Apple watch and let some other company push forward on 24/7 health monitoring? Apple must find ways to keep people interested in investing in the Apple ecosystem. Health monitoring and encouragement is a very big deal and Apple would risk its future to ignore that. I, for one, am looking very much forward to Apple doing something with cardiac rhythm monitoring, as I fully expect that's going to be an issue for me in the decades ahead. I don't fancy spending $1000 a pop for 24 hours of Holter monitoring. I'd rather just wear an Apple watch and get potentially far better results because it's on my wrist for far longer than 24 hours, tracking me during a wide range of activities, some of which might reveal rhythm disturbances that a 24 hour Holter session would miss.

    As someone who's designed Holter monitors, I don't recommend underestimating the value of even crude rhythm (or morphology, if possible) monitoring over very long periods of time. No company has ever been in a position to do this. If Apple doesn't grab that brass ring, someone else will.
    edited October 2017 SpamSandwichcali
  • Reply 12 of 39
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    The medical sector is both flush with money both on the consumer and business side, and a complete mess of inefficiency, bad tech, bad integration, bad software... The user experience (workers, patients) at all levels is just BAD.

    It's an industry ripe for major disruption, especially coming from the consumer side as a way to insert itself into the industry.

    A company like Apple could make a huge difference here and build an ever stronger moat; privacy is really important in  that sector and Android is not ready to go there at all and likely won't be for a while.

    The fact Apple controls so much of the hardware/system/software stack means they can create things no one else can.

    And, for once, calling Jobs name would means something cause he's specifically was pretty disturbed by what he saw when dealing with the current mess of tech/software that he had to used. He wanted to improve the experience of people caring for their health and once they are sick, being treated.

    Carrying Jobs spirit would in fact continuing a strong focus on improving people's lives in those areas.

    That those areas could be areas that are very lucrative and ready for disruption is just icing on the cake.
    edited October 2017 bsimpsenjSnivelyLukeCageGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 13 of 39
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,919member
    rob53 said:
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    go to sleep.
    So you think Apple becoming a conglomerate is a good thing? What’s next, Apple branded health food stores?
    Wouldn't mind Apple branching out a bit. Health food stores might be a little too small of an idea. I wouldn't mind seeing them more involved in the medical field, definitely as a bank, definitely as a cellular and internet provider, not so much as car manufacturer (especially autonomous vehicles), definitely not into rocket ships, in other words, adding things other than just computer hardware and computer services. I don't want them to look like Amazon or Google, who make almost nothing people actually use other that an on-line store and a company that sells my personal information. Wall Street might like these but they really don't help people. 
    Why should they be involved in medical field but not autonomous vehicles? Your list seems random. I don’t want Apple to become what Google was becoming before their current CFO reigned things in (i.e. unfocused).
    Autonomous vehicles would be biting off more than they could chew.  Not just from manufacturing but also sales.  Not like Apple Retail stores have showroom space for automobiles.  Besides, they've already designed 3 iterations of the Apple Watch which is unanimously the best-selling smartwatch. Period. So why not capitalize on that and improve the health services aspect of the Watch. 
  • Reply 14 of 39
    LukeCage said:
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    go to sleep.
    So you think Apple becoming a conglomerate is a good thing? What’s next, Apple branded health food stores?

    This seems to me like Apple wants to strength its own health team while at the same time getting real world experience. The Health Care Industry is huge and complex, if Apple can better understand how a real live clinic functions, the better their health focus products can be. 
    Yes, I see this as analogous to Apple’s investment in the Chinese ride-hailing company: it’s not necessarily that Apple wants to be that company, but having an investment in that company would give Apple insider knowledge of how that new business segment works.
    LukeCageStrangeDays
  • Reply 15 of 39
    bsimpsen said:
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    Are you advocating that Apple remove bio sensors from the Apple watch and let some other company push forward on 24/7 health monitoring? Apple must find ways to keep people interested in investing in the Apple ecosystem. Health monitoring and encouragement is a very big deal and Apple would risk its future to ignore that. I, for one, am looking very much forward to Apple doing something with cardiac rhythm monitoring, as I fully expect that's going to be an issue for me in the decades ahead. I don't fancy spending $1000 a pop for 24 hours of Holter monitoring. I'd rather just wear an Apple watch and get potentially far better results because it's on my wrist for far longer than 24 hours, tracking me during a wide range of activities, some of which might reveal rhythm disturbances that a 24 hour Holter session would miss.

    As someone who's designed Holter monitors, I don't recommend underestimating the value of even crude rhythm (or morphology, if possible) monitoring over very long periods of time. No company has ever been in a position to do this. If Apple doesn't grab that brass ring, someone else will.
    No, where did I mention Apple Watch? There’s a huge spectrum between an Apple Watch with health sensors and owning primary care clinics.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    rob53 said:
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    go to sleep.
    So you think Apple becoming a conglomerate is a good thing? What’s next, Apple branded health food stores?
    Wouldn't mind Apple branching out a bit. Health food stores might be a little too small of an idea. I wouldn't mind seeing them more involved in the medical field, definitely as a bank, definitely as a cellular and internet provider, not so much as car manufacturer (especially autonomous vehicles), definitely not into rocket ships, in other words, adding things other than just computer hardware and computer services. I don't want them to look like Amazon or Google, who make almost nothing people actually use other that an on-line store and a company that sells my personal information. Wall Street might like these but they really don't help people. 
    Why should they be involved in medical field but not autonomous vehicles? Your list seems random. I don’t want Apple to become what Google was becoming before their current CFO reigned things in (i.e. unfocused).
    Autonomous vehicles would be biting off more than they could chew.  Not just from manufacturing but also sales.  Not like Apple Retail stores have showroom space for automobiles.  Besides, they've already designed 3 iterations of the Apple Watch which is unanimously the best-selling smartwatch. Period. So why not capitalize on that and improve the health services aspect of the Watch. 
    OK I’m not sure what that has to do with owning primary care clinics. Because Apple designed a smart watch with a heart rate sensor (which all smart watches have) that makes them a natural fit to own health care clinics? How is that not biting off more than they can chew? I’d be curious to know who leaked this and if the talks were as deep/serious as CNBC makes them out to be. 
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 17 of 39

    LukeCage said:
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    go to sleep.
    So you think Apple becoming a conglomerate is a good thing? What’s next, Apple branded health food stores?

    This seems to me like Apple wants to strength its own health team while at the same time getting real world experience. The Health Care Industry is huge and complex, if Apple can better understand how a real live clinic functions, the better their health focus products can be. 
    And Apple has to acquire clinics to be able to do that? Seems to me they’d be better off partnering. I work for a large health insurance company that has a huge data analytics arm. That’s who Apple should partner with if they want to dip their toe deeper into the heath care waters.


    That’s the thing, none of us knows exactly how Apple is viewing this. I think a partnership would be best also, but I’m not in a decision making position at Apple, my view at best is myopic. I see what you’re saying about the data analytics arm but having just data is not always the best. I used to be an analyst at huge hospital, how a hospital board of directors sees things is vastly different from how doctors view things. Even how doctors view things is vastly different from the people who really keep things going in a hospital, the nurses see things. Having those points of view, I think would help Apple  
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 18 of 39
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 679member
    LukeCage said:
    That’s the thing, none of us knows exactly how Apple is viewing this. I think a partnership would be best also, but I’m not in a decision making position at Apple, my view at best is myopic. I see what you’re saying about the data analytics arm but having just data is not always the best. I used to be an analyst at huge hospital, how a hospital board of directors sees things is vastly different from how doctors view things. Even how doctors view things is vastly different from the people who really keep things going in a hospital, the nurses see things. Having those points of view, I think would help Apple  
    why partner? that would bring up serious privacy issues. better if apple just went at it alone. regardless, if apple's snooping around and considering getting into the healthcare industry—in any capacity—all those old white boys will be shitting their pants. they might actually have to start innovating. because u can bet if apple can turn this turd of an industry around, they will. will we see the healthcare industry start going after apple in some manner? yeah, I think so.

  • Reply 19 of 39
    LukeCage said:

    LukeCage said:
    So Tim Cook wants to turn Apple into GE. I don’t like this idea of Apple turning into a conglomerate.
    go to sleep.
    So you think Apple becoming a conglomerate is a good thing? What’s next, Apple branded health food stores?

    This seems to me like Apple wants to strength its own health team while at the same time getting real world experience. The Health Care Industry is huge and complex, if Apple can better understand how a real live clinic functions, the better their health focus products can be. 
    And Apple has to acquire clinics to be able to do that? Seems to me they’d be better off partnering. I work for a large health insurance company that has a huge data analytics arm. That’s who Apple should partner with if they want to dip their toe deeper into the heath care waters.


    That’s the thing, none of us knows exactly how Apple is viewing this. I think a partnership would be best also, but I’m not in a decision making position at Apple, my view at best is myopic. I see what you’re saying about the data analytics arm but having just data is not always the best. I used to be an analyst at huge hospital, how a hospital board of directors sees things is vastly different from how doctors view things. Even how doctors view things is vastly different from the people who really keep things going in a hospital, the nurses see things. Having those points of view, I think would help Apple  
    What is Apple’s goal? How do the executives see the mission of the company? Consumer electronics? A media company? A healthcare company? What’s the focus? Not long ago some were saying Apple should acquire Disney or Time Warner or Netflix. Now I see people in my Twitter timeline saying Apple is going to revolutionize health care and owning primary care clinics makes sense. If Apple wants to pivot into a healthcare company fine but I’m not sure how that fits in with selling personal computers and spending billions on original TV programming.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    I've been in and out of healthcare and biotech IT for 50 years (granted, my first job was helping clean X-ray film processing machines as a pre-teen).   Spent a few years working with integrating NeXT technologies into healthcare in the 80's and 90's,  and spent days in Fremont and Santa Clara seeing how NeXT's upper management saw how 90% of medicine is simply a problem of getting the right information to the right people at  the right time (most MDs were working from 20 year old studies, polluted by Drug Detailers, and working with patients who didn't know systolic from alcoholic).   So looking at 'retail health care' makes sense to me.

    Apple's DNA is about changing the system before the system thinks it needs changing.  
    This is like Apple Stores.  At the time, everyone said technology store fronts were dying against the 'Dell' and 'Amazon' models.  

    I seen 'primary healthcare' as the later to 'think different'.  To do this, you will need 'retail' clinics to exploit this model (busy people, close to people... like corp-located healthcare services).   I see consideration of this purchase is trying to change the model of healthcare from 'acute episodic' care, to 'continual care/wellness monitoring/coaching' and most likely, building a whole new model of PMR (one not owned by the clinic, but one that is fully owned by you [in the cloud]).   Walking into the office with 2 months of BP or the last 12 hours of temp and heart rate, and eventually, ekg, blood sugars, ketones, will move 'specialist' level data collection to a PA/NP reviewing the data remotely and adjusting Rx and dosing via telemedicine, with follow-ups being done at Primary Care CoPays over a lunch hour vs a 2 hour trip to a specialist.



    colinng
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