Scuttled 'Apple Doctor' would have connected consumers with healthcare

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 18
Apple has reportedly spent years testing its own primary care clinics with the ultimate goal of offering this service to customers, but the company's health focus has moved to Apple Watch.

Dr Sumbul Ahmad Desai speaking during WWDC 2021
Dr. Sumbul Ahmad Desai speaking during WWDC 2021


As Apple continues to expand its Apple Watch focus on health with new hires, it has been revealed that it originally had much broader plans for healthcare. Since 2016, it has been working on offering primary health care of its own, including conducting extensive, long-term tests with fully-working health centers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the initial work began after 2015's Apple Watch proved a success for its health features. Faced with a torrent of health data being gathered by the Watch, Apple's COO Jeff Williams reportedly wanted Apple to reinvent US health care.

Specifically, unnamed sources told the Wall Street Journal that Williams describes the current system as "363 [and] break fix." He means that patients may only see their doctor one day a year, and then only when they know something is wrong.

Apple took over an unknown number of health clinics in Cupertino and in 2017 hired Dr. Sumbul Ahmad Desai, from Stanford University, to run what was now called Project Casper. Dr. Desai and her team have since made specific health tools such as the blood oximeter in the Apple Watch Series 6. Plus she is a key figure behind the development of Apple's HealthKit.

Dr. Desai is now also a familiar figure in Apple's presentations. That includes the WWDC 2021 keynote where she detailed Apple's forthcoming health features in iOS 15.

At the same time, Dr. Desai has been running the Casper clinics and reportedly the trial work continues to the present day. However, sources told the Wall Street Journal that the project has stalled, partly because of a focus on Apple Watch, but also partly because of a lack of sufficiently clear results.

It's claimed that members of the Casper team have objected to the project's methodology, saying that data has been compiled inaccurately or haphazardly. It's further alleged that internal discussion and criticism is unwelcome, and that consequently multiple people have quit the project.

An Apple spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the specific example of one manager leaving "was investigated thoroughly and the allegations could not be substantiated."

Apple has also told the publication that the alleged criticisms are inaccurate, and that the overall report is incorrect. "Many of the assertions in this report are based on incomplete, outdated and inaccurate information," said the spokesperson.

The publication's report also claims that Apple has been testing a new app for around six months, but it is failing to get traction with employees. Called HealthHabit, it is intended to set health challenges, and to connect testers to health coaches when needed.

However, the Wall Street Journal claims that as of May 2021, half of the Apple staff who have downloaded the app have failed to enroll in the test.

Separately, Dr. Desai's team continues to be involved in health ventures, including the new Health Sharing feature of the forthcoming watchOS 8.

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patchythepirate
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    fred1fred1 Posts: 828member
    Should I say it? Should I? OK, here it is . . . “An Apple a day . . .”  :D
    lkruppStrangeDayspatchythepiratebloggerblogbyronlCloudTalkinradarthekat
  • Reply 2 of 40
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,525member
    Health+

    Apple needs to make this happen as Apple is more private than clinics and won’t share data and seems to care about our health more.
    patchythepirateradarthekat
  • Reply 3 of 40
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,712member
    Wow, genuinely didn’t expect that.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    ...so why if an Apple watch is 3' from my mac and can unlock it, does it need to sync via Apple servers thousands of miles away in aother country...?

    I confirmed this with Apple tech yesterday ...

    "a torrent of health data being gathered by the Watch"


    williamlondondarkvader
  • Reply 5 of 40
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,262member
    There are two main approaches to "healthcare":
    The one we are most familiar with is actually "DiseaseManagement" -- where you go to the doctor with a complaint or your doctor finds a problem and, in most cases, he prescribes a pill.  The pill typically does nothing to resolve the problem.   But it does suppress the symptoms of the problem (so in the medical mind, they fixed the problem).  (Blood pressure pills are a prime example)

    The other approach is actual healthcare where health is promoted and maintained.   Dean Ornish may be the best proponent of that approach as he advocates a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, stress reduction along with human love and connection.  He has shown that that lifestyle can not only prevent but even reverse heart disease, many cancers, Type 2 diabetes and is currently running a study that may show that it can prevent and reverse Alzheimers.  His program is no longer alternative medicine or anything far out as Medicare and many insurance programs now pay for it because it has been proven to work.

    It is estimated that 80% of the $17Trillion Americans spend on health care each year is spent on chronic diseases and that this lifestyle approach can prevent 80% of those chronic diseases.   Which is maybe why those receiving that $17Trillion have never been thrilled by the lifestyle approach.

    So, while the American medical system gives lip service to lifestyle medicine it typically then ignores it in favor of traditional medical pills and procedures (which is where the money is).   Apple has come closer than most to promoting those healthy lifestyles but still seems to be firmly rooted in the traditional medical establishment.  That may be good because, in that business, traditional medicine calls the shots and any who challenge it tend to run into a buzz saw.
    edited June 16 StrangeDaysapplguymuthuk_vanalingamdesignrFileMakerFellerCloudTalkinradarthekatJMStearnsX2Beatssconosciuto
  • Reply 6 of 40
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,560member
    The WSJ reporting on rumors and secondhand stories about an unannounced project? Say it ain't so!

    This report doesn't definitely make certain this project was real or that its goals were as claimed, and instead comes off as yet another WSJ "Apple failed!" piece. But, even it states deliverables from the project wound up in consumers' hands, such as the blood oximeter feature of the Watch, development on HealthKit, and the upcoming Health Sharing feature for monitoring loved ones. These are wins. Research & development is research & development. When *nothing* good comes of it is the time to question the efforts...not just because a commercial clinic service didn't come of it.
    macplusplusGeorgeBMacFileMakerFellerradarthekatBeats
  • Reply 7 of 40
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,560member
    There are two main approaches to "healthcare":

    The one we are most familiar with is actually "DiseaseManagement" -- where you go to the doctor with a complaint or your doctor finds a problem and, in most cases, he prescribes a pill.  The pill typically does nothing to resolve the problem.   But it does suppress the symptoms of the problem (so in the medical mind, they fixed the problem).  (Blood pressure pills are a prime example)

    The other approach is actual healthcare where health is promoted and maintained.   Dean Ornish may be the best proponent of that approach as he advocates a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, stress reduction along with human love and connection.  He has shown that that lifestyle can not only prevent but even reverse heart disease, many cancers, Type 2 diabetes and is currently running a study that may show that it can prevent and reverse Alzheimers.  His program is no longer alternative medicine or anything far out as Medicare and many insurance programs now pay for it because it has been proven to work.
    I think this is right on. I have some personal experiences with it. Years ago I had a sedentary lifestyle and when my cholesterol and sugar crept up my GP at the time simply prescribed me a drug. I took the drug because he was my doctor. Then I did some more reading of my own and discovered that an active lifestyle that put my body to work would actually do the same thing -- as it has evolved to do. Working muscles absorb and use insulin, which prevents becoming insulin resistant which prevents diabetes. My numbers went down and I don't take the prescription, instead maintaining the physical activity. I even really enjoy it! 

    I love science, I love technology and we have amazing medicine and surgical procedures. But the first step should be to try to avoid needing them for as long as possible. Most Americans have forgotten how to do this.
    edited June 16 muthuk_vanalingammacplusplusGeorgeBMacFileMakerFellertokyojimuradarthekatdewmeJMStearnsX2Beatssconosciuto
  • Reply 8 of 40
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member
    There are two main approaches to "healthcare":
    The one we are most familiar with is actually "DiseaseManagement" -- where you go to the doctor with a complaint or your doctor finds a problem and, in most cases, he prescribes a pill.  The pill typically does nothing to resolve the problem.   But it does suppress the symptoms of the problem (so in the medical mind, they fixed the problem).  (Blood pressure pills are a prime example)

    The other approach is actual healthcare where health is promoted and maintained.   Dean Ornish may be the best proponent of that approach as he advocates a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, stress reduction along with human love and connection.  He has shown that that lifestyle can not only prevent but even reverse heart disease, many cancers, Type 2 diabetes and is currently running a study that may show that it can prevent and reverse Alzheimers.  His program is no longer alternative medicine or anything far out as Medicare and many insurance programs now pay for it because it has been proven to work.

    It is estimated that 80% of the $17Trillion Americans spend on health care each year is spent on chronic diseases and that this lifestyle approach can prevent 80% of those chronic diseases.   Which is maybe why those receiving that $17Trillion have never been thrilled by the lifestyle approach.

    So, while the American medical system gives lip service to lifestyle medicine it typically then ignores it in favor of traditional medical pills and procedures (which is where the money is).   Apple has come closer than most to promoting those healthy lifestyles but still seems to be firmly rooted in the traditional medical establishment.  That may be good because, in that business, traditional medicine calls the shots and any who challenge it tend to run into a buzz saw.
    Agreed.

    in all fairness to the health care folks, and Americans in general, we are all trapped in a fear-based economic system. Nice description here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/13/opinion/stimulus-unemployment-republicans-poverty.html?referringSource=articleShare

    it’s hard to have a low stress life filled with peace love and exercise when the economy is built on fear and intimidation. 
    muthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMacbageljoeyFileMakerFellerBeatssconosciuto
  • Reply 9 of 40
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    Beats said:
    Health+

    Apple needs to make this happen as Apple is more private than clinics and won’t share data and seems to care about our health more.
    The fear of shared health data stems from the fact US insurance companies use the information to cut or cancel coverage for their own profit.  However, absent this almost uniquely American evil, shared health data is crucial.  Different departments, different doctors, and specialists can best assess your health when they all can access a common database or a relational one, and with AI coming this becomes even more vital. We need a paradigm shift.
    edited June 16 williamlondonStrangeDaysFileMakerFellersconosciuto
  • Reply 10 of 40
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,765member
    There are two main approaches to "healthcare":
    The one we are most familiar with is actually "DiseaseManagement" -- where you go to the doctor with a complaint or your doctor finds a problem and, in most cases, he prescribes a pill.  The pill typically does nothing to resolve the problem.   But it does suppress the symptoms of the problem (so in the medical mind, they fixed the problem).  (Blood pressure pills are a prime example)

    The other approach is actual healthcare where health is promoted and maintained.   Dean Ornish may be the best proponent of that approach as he advocates a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, stress reduction along with human love and connection.  He has shown that that lifestyle can not only prevent but even reverse heart disease, many cancers, Type 2 diabetes and is currently running a study that may show that it can prevent and reverse Alzheimers.  His program is no longer alternative medicine or anything far out as Medicare and many insurance programs now pay for it because it has been proven to work.

    It is estimated that 80% of the $17Trillion Americans spend on health care each year is spent on chronic diseases and that this lifestyle approach can prevent 80% of those chronic diseases.   Which is maybe why those receiving that $17Trillion have never been thrilled by the lifestyle approach.

    So, while the American medical system gives lip service to lifestyle medicine it typically then ignores it in favor of traditional medical pills and procedures (which is where the money is).   Apple has come closer than most to promoting those healthy lifestyles but still seems to be firmly rooted in the traditional medical establishment.  That may be good because, in that business, traditional medicine calls the shots and any who challenge it tend to run into a buzz saw.
    I expect that the biggest obstacle to shifting to your preferred healthcare model is that it would be seen by at least 40% of the US population as a gross infringement of their freedom and worth taking up arms against.  It's also probably a major component of the pedophile conspiracy's plan to takeover the country.
    edited June 16 FileMakerFellersconosciuto
  • Reply 11 of 40
    There are two main approaches to "healthcare":
    The one we are most familiar with is actually "DiseaseManagement" -- where you go to the doctor with a complaint or your doctor finds a problem and, in most cases, he prescribes a pill.  The pill typically does nothing to resolve the problem.   But it does suppress the symptoms of the problem (so in the medical mind, they fixed the problem).  (Blood pressure pills are a prime example)

    The other approach is actual healthcare where health is promoted and maintained.   Dean Ornish may be the best proponent of that approach as he advocates a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, stress reduction along with human love and connection.  He has shown that that lifestyle can not only prevent but even reverse heart disease, many cancers, Type 2 diabetes and is currently running a study that may show that it can prevent and reverse Alzheimers.  His program is no longer alternative medicine or anything far out as Medicare and many insurance programs now pay for it because it has been proven to work.

    It is estimated that 80% of the $17Trillion Americans spend on health care each year is spent on chronic diseases and that this lifestyle approach can prevent 80% of those chronic diseases.   Which is maybe why those receiving that $17Trillion have never been thrilled by the lifestyle approach.

    So, while the American medical system gives lip service to lifestyle medicine it typically then ignores it in favor of traditional medical pills and procedures (which is where the money is).   Apple has come closer than most to promoting those healthy lifestyles but still seems to be firmly rooted in the traditional medical establishment.  That may be good because, in that business, traditional medicine calls the shots and any who challenge it tend to run into a buzz saw.
    Well said and absolutely spot on!!! One of the Excellent posts from you. 
    GeorgeBMacradarthekat
  • Reply 12 of 40
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,262member
    MacPro said:
    Beats said:
    Health+

    Apple needs to make this happen as Apple is more private than clinics and won’t share data and seems to care about our health more.
    The fear of shared health data stems from the fact US insurance companies use the information to cut or cancel coverage for their own profit.  However, absent this almost uniquely American evil, shared health data is crucial.  Different departments, different doctors, and specialists can best assess your health when they all can access a common database or a relational one, and with AI coming this becomes even more vital. We need a paradigm shift.

    They used to.   The ACA made that illegal.   it's really its (only?) claim to fame.
    Back when i had high cholesterol and high blood pressure but no employer paid healthcare I used to have to buy my drugs direct from India so my insurer didn't find out and cancel me.

    But, like all forms of discrimination, it's hard to completely eliminate it completey -- those who practice it find ways.
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 13 of 40
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,262member
    tundraboy said:
    There are two main approaches to "healthcare":
    The one we are most familiar with is actually "DiseaseManagement" -- where you go to the doctor with a complaint or your doctor finds a problem and, in most cases, he prescribes a pill.  The pill typically does nothing to resolve the problem.   But it does suppress the symptoms of the problem (so in the medical mind, they fixed the problem).  (Blood pressure pills are a prime example)

    The other approach is actual healthcare where health is promoted and maintained.   Dean Ornish may be the best proponent of that approach as he advocates a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, stress reduction along with human love and connection.  He has shown that that lifestyle can not only prevent but even reverse heart disease, many cancers, Type 2 diabetes and is currently running a study that may show that it can prevent and reverse Alzheimers.  His program is no longer alternative medicine or anything far out as Medicare and many insurance programs now pay for it because it has been proven to work.

    It is estimated that 80% of the $17Trillion Americans spend on health care each year is spent on chronic diseases and that this lifestyle approach can prevent 80% of those chronic diseases.   Which is maybe why those receiving that $17Trillion have never been thrilled by the lifestyle approach.

    So, while the American medical system gives lip service to lifestyle medicine it typically then ignores it in favor of traditional medical pills and procedures (which is where the money is).   Apple has come closer than most to promoting those healthy lifestyles but still seems to be firmly rooted in the traditional medical establishment.  That may be good because, in that business, traditional medicine calls the shots and any who challenge it tend to run into a buzz saw.
    I expect that the biggest obstacle to shifting to your preferred healthcare model is that it would be seen by at least 40% of the US population as a gross infringement of their freedom and worth taking up arms against.  It's also probably a major component of the pedophile conspiracy's plan to takeover the country.

    You forgot the  "/s" after that.
    radarthekat
  • Reply 14 of 40
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,765member

    The other approach is actual healthcare where health is promoted and maintained.   Dean Ornish may be the best proponent of that approach as he advocates a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, stress reduction along with human love and connection.  He has shown that that lifestyle can not only prevent but even reverse heart disease, many cancers, Type 2 diabetes and is currently running a study that may show that it can prevent and reverse Alzheimers.  His program is no longer alternative medicine or anything far out as Medicare and many insurance programs now pay for it because it has been proven to work.
    On Dean Ornish:  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-almost-everything-dean-ornish-says-about-nutrition-is-wrong/

    StrangeDays
  • Reply 15 of 40
    welshdog said:

    The other approach is actual healthcare where health is promoted and maintained.   Dean Ornish may be the best proponent of that approach as he advocates a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, stress reduction along with human love and connection.  He has shown that that lifestyle can not only prevent but even reverse heart disease, many cancers, Type 2 diabetes and is currently running a study that may show that it can prevent and reverse Alzheimers.  His program is no longer alternative medicine or anything far out as Medicare and many insurance programs now pay for it because it has been proven to work.
    On Dean Ornish:  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-almost-everything-dean-ornish-says-about-nutrition-is-wrong/

    Leaving aside the article about specific diet related arguments, Do you think Dean Ornish is wrong on the larger topic, that lifestyle changes can prevent diseases?
  • Reply 16 of 40
    byronlbyronl Posts: 148member
    big tech also taking over medical centers, great! what do medical center owners need to do about this?
  • Reply 17 of 40
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,560member
    welshdog said:

    The other approach is actual healthcare where health is promoted and maintained.   Dean Ornish may be the best proponent of that approach as he advocates a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, stress reduction along with human love and connection.  He has shown that that lifestyle can not only prevent but even reverse heart disease, many cancers, Type 2 diabetes and is currently running a study that may show that it can prevent and reverse Alzheimers.  His program is no longer alternative medicine or anything far out as Medicare and many insurance programs now pay for it because it has been proven to work.
    On Dean Ornish:  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-almost-everything-dean-ornish-says-about-nutrition-is-wrong/
    Interesting back & forth. I agree w/ SA that Ornish incorrectly conflates high-protein w/ high-fat, when they're actually two different macro nutrients. I and many other weight lifters & bodybuilders eat high-protein but low-fat diets. This is not difficult to do, as you can supplement dietary protein with low-fat whey and even plant-based options like pea-protein. It is true that many Americans simply eat animal fats (usually meat, often dressed in mayos and breadings) to get both protein and fat, but they are not the same and it is misleading to claim high-protein is responsible for obesity or heart disease. As a macro nutrient, that just isn't protein's lane by itself. More, increased protein is useful for building muscle and negating or slowing down sarcopenia (muscle atrophy), which keeps us more functional longer in life and helps compress mortality to the very end of life.

    welshdog said:

    The other approach is actual healthcare where health is promoted and maintained.   Dean Ornish may be the best proponent of that approach as he advocates a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, stress reduction along with human love and connection.  He has shown that that lifestyle can not only prevent but even reverse heart disease, many cancers, Type 2 diabetes and is currently running a study that may show that it can prevent and reverse Alzheimers.  His program is no longer alternative medicine or anything far out as Medicare and many insurance programs now pay for it because it has been proven to work.
    On Dean Ornish:  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-almost-everything-dean-ornish-says-about-nutrition-is-wrong/

    Leaving aside the article about specific diet related arguments, Do you think Dean Ornish is wrong on the larger topic, that lifestyle changes can prevent diseases?
    Definitely not wrong there. Generally speaking, lifestyle is health.
    edited June 16 FileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingamradarthekat
  • Reply 18 of 40
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,560member
    byronl said:
    big tech also taking over medical centers, great! what do medical center owners need to do about this?
    Define "taking over medical centers" please. 

    Are you suggesting big insurance and big hospital have been delivering a better value to consumers and patients? I sure don't think so. In fact, America pays more of its GDP toward its private healthcare system and receives less for it than the rest of the west. This is fact. We pay more, but get less. In the middle of that equation, billions of profit goes to insurance companies and the executive class of care providers. They are unnecessary middle men. I'd prefer they be eliminated and we get more for our money -- even if that means shifting the deductions from payroll (employer-provided benefits we pay for) to socialized medicine that we don't pay directly out of pocket for. 
    GeorgeBMacDogpersonmuthuk_vanalingamradarthekat
  • Reply 19 of 40
    There are two main approaches to "healthcare":
    The one we are most familiar with is actually "DiseaseManagement" -- where you go to the doctor with a complaint or your doctor finds a problem and, in most cases, he prescribes a pill.  The pill typically does nothing to resolve the problem.   But it does suppress the symptoms of the problem (so in the medical mind, they fixed the problem).  (Blood pressure pills are a prime example)

    The other approach is actual healthcare where health is promoted and maintained.   Dean Ornish may be the best proponent of that approach as he advocates a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, stress reduction along with human love and connection.  He has shown that that lifestyle can not only prevent but even reverse heart disease, many cancers, Type 2 diabetes and is currently running a study that may show that it can prevent and reverse Alzheimers.  His program is no longer alternative medicine or anything far out as Medicare and many insurance programs now pay for it because it has been proven to work.

    It is estimated that 80% of the $17Trillion Americans spend on health care each year is spent on chronic diseases and that this lifestyle approach can prevent 80% of those chronic diseases.   Which is maybe why those receiving that $17Trillion have never been thrilled by the lifestyle approach.

    So, while the American medical system gives lip service to lifestyle medicine it typically then ignores it in favor of traditional medical pills and procedures (which is where the money is).   Apple has come closer than most to promoting those healthy lifestyles but still seems to be firmly rooted in the traditional medical establishment.  That may be good because, in that business, traditional medicine calls the shots and any who challenge it tend to run into a buzz saw.
    This sounds like the typical alternative medicine bullshit I have heard about practically my whole life. A medical doctor isn’t going to tell you to not eat a generally healthy diet and not exercise. It is not a great revelation either. It’s pretty obvious there are certain diseases related to a sedentary lifestyle and humans have been aware of this for a really long time. Also insurance companies are not the arbiters of what constitutes science based medicine since there are treatments you can get an insurance company to pay for that have nothing to do with science. Insurance companies want to pay for the cheapest “treatment” they can and their coverage are effected by both monetary and political influence.
    Peza
  • Reply 20 of 40
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,689member
    ...so why if an Apple watch is 3' from my mac and can unlock it, does it need to sync via Apple servers thousands of miles away in aother country...?

    I confirmed this with Apple tech yesterday ...

    "a torrent of health data being gathered by the Watch"
    Apple Watch: “You seem confused. Perhaps you’d like to speak to an Apple Wellness Specialist?”

    [ time passes ]

    Apple Wellness Specialist: “Bobolicious, is iCloud in the room with you right now?”
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