Silicon Valley continues to shake up the healthcare market: Apple plans to launch a medical practice and open two primary care clinics for its employees this spring, in part to test potential consumer-facing health services and products.
Apple's practice will be called AC Wellness, and the company will open two clinics in Santa Clara County to provide primary care to employees and their family members, according to CNBC. The company is advertising for doctors, health coaches and "designers" to staff the clinics.
The news follows on the heels of another tech-giant's venture into the healthcare industry, with Amazon's plans to partner with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway to launch an independent healthcare company that will focus on lowering costs by leveraging data and technology.
Apple has set up a website, for a new “independent medical practice dedicated to delivering compassionate, effective healthcare to the Apple employee population.”
The site includes a career page listing job openings for primary care physicians, acute care physicians, medical assistants, nurse practitioners, exercise coaches and “health partners” to focus on helping patients change behaviors.
“The centers offer a unique concierge-like healthcare experience for employees and their dependents,” according to the website.
While more companies are offering on-site medical clinics to treat patients where they work, Apple’s initiative is different in that AC Wellness is described as a subsidiary of the company.
The new primary care group will initially only serve Apple's employees in Santa Clara County, where its headquarters are located, according to CNBC and will start out with the two clinics.
CNBC sources said the company will use the medical clinics as a way to test out health services and products, which it is starting to roll out to consumers at large.
It’s also another shift in the way physicians provide healthcare.
Late last year, CVS and Aetna announced a merger with the potential to shake up how primary care is provided to patients. The merger of one of the country’s largest pharmacy and retail healthcare chains with one of the largest for-profit health insurers has the potential to further shake things up for providers, which have faced increasing competition from retail clinics.