Apple had big dreams for healthcare in recent years, but those ambitions have came to a standstill, according to a Wednesday report in The Wall Street Journal. Many of the company’s plans to change healthcare have struggled to gain ground, people familiar with the matter told the publication. The Magazine also reviewed documents that relate these challenges.
The iPhone maker had reportedly planned to offer its own primary care medical service with the doctors it employs at its own clinics. To test the plan, Apple took over the employee-oriented clinics and teamed up with doctors, engineers and product designers, among others, according to the Journal. But those lofty goals have stalled as the company has reportedly shifted its focus to selling devices like theinstead of.
The primary care service has reportedly not been launched and a digital health app that quietly debuted this year hasn’t been very successful in attracting users. In addition, some employees have reportedly questioned the integrity of health data from Apple clinics used for product development.
Apple reportedly planned to provide a medical service that would connect data generated by Apple devices with virtual and in-person healthcare from Apple physicians. The company would provide primary care and ongoing health monitoring through a subscription-based health program, the Journal reports. If the company could show that its model can improve people’s health and lower costs, it could franchise the model to healthcare systems and other countries, the documents say, according to the Journal.
To test the service, Apple reportedly took over its headquarters employee health clinics that were being run by a startup. The company hired Stanford University’s Dr. Sumbul Desai in 2017 to lead the initiative, codenamed Casper, according to the Journal. The initiative is still underway, but Apple has reportedly failed to move Casper past a preliminary stage. Many employees have reportedly left the Desai unit, saying its culture discourages critical feedback. Some employees allege that internal data on the clinics’ performance has been inaccurate or randomly collected, according to the Journal.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.