If you think Apple has gone subscription services crazy, hold onto your seats. In addition to Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, iCloud Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, and Apple Fitness, the company was reportedly working on its most ambitious subscription service yet: a healthcare service complete with “Apple doctors.”
That’s according to The Wall Street Journal, which reports that Apple testing of this potential offering and “other bold healthcare ideas, it took over clinics that catered to its employees and built a team with scores of clinicians, engineers, product designers, and others.
While word that Apple has been working on a healthcare service is a bit surprising, it’s not totally unexpected for the company to explore other ways it can innovate in the health sector. The Apple Watch, which started out as a vague and undefined fashion gadget in 2015, has since morphed into a de facto health gadget complete with the ability to monitor your heart, oxygen levels, and a swath of other health and activity data. And last year Apple introduced Apple Fitness—a subscription service that aims to keep people healthier.
According to the Journal, Apple planned to leverage the Apple Watch and the health data it and other Apple devices collected and use it in conjunction “with virtual and in-person care provided by Apple doctors. Apple would offer primary care, but also continuous health monitoring as part of a subscription-based personalized health program.”
It’s unknown what this Apple healthcare subscription plan would cost customers, but it doesn’t sound like it aims to completely replace health insurance.
those hoping to see the plan come to fruition may have to wait a long time. The Journal says plans for Apple’s healthcare service have “largely stalled” and instead Apple is focusing its health efforts on its existing devices, like the Apple Watch.