To help it make inroads in the multi-trillion dollar healthcare industry Apple wants to turn its mobile operating system into a medical banking system for storing and sharing medical records for health institutions with which it hopes to partner. To significantly push forward this project it is currently in talks with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to provide veterans with electronic accessibility to their medical records via the iPhone, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to emails seen by the WSJ, Apple began talks with the DVA last year but progress for the project is unclear. Simplifying hospital visits and potentially improve care and treatment delivery times for 9 million US veterans by transferring their medical records to a dedicated iOS software is at the crux of Apple being chosen by the DVA for this monumental task.
As part of the deal it is said that Apple would provide engineering support to the Agency and, further on, if Apple manages to get terms similar to the App Store, it may offer subscriptions to health services, like prescription refills with its Health app at a 15 or 30 percent discount which would go to Apple.
Back in January, Apple began permitting patients to import medical records such as allergies and lab test results into its Health app, while at the same time increasing support for more health institutions. This deal with the Veterans Affairs could significantly impact Apple’s break into the multi-trillion dollar market using its Health app and Apple Watch.
And as far as the Apple Watch, which successfully sought and received approval from the FDA to not only measure a user’s heart rate and other fitness stats, but with its newest Series 4, it is able to perform an electrocardiogram or EKG.
Apple has already had a diverse reach into the healthcare arena for some time using its specialized medical app CareKit platform to allow patients to share medical info. It also provides anyone studying medicine with a ResearchKit platform for medical studies. And last February, under the AC wellness brand, reports surfaced that Apple is starting up its own medical clinics for their employees and their families.
Apple isn’t the only one which has thrown its hat into the ring of the healthcare market providing tech-focused support.
Verify, a dedicated life sciences research subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, and Calico, a life extension effort will both benefit from easier access to a widening of health data sets and research results.
And Amazon, over the summer in order to enter into the healthcare market as well as to better compete with CVS and Walgreens, bought online pharmaceutical startup PillPack.