Apple is bringing concierge-like employee health care inside its corporate walled garden.
The tech giant will open at least two clinics, called AC Wellness Centers, in Santa Clara County, California, this spring, CNBC reports. One will be on campus at its new spaceship-like headquarters, Apple Park, and one north of it. Both will serve Apple’s local employees and families, offering access to primary care doctors, nurse practitioners, exercise coaches, and on-site lab tests.
Apple has not publicly confirmed its plans for the health company, but a website for ACWellness with information and job postings lists an address in Cupertino (where Apple is based) and describes the clinics as providing “concierge-like healthcare experience for [Apple] employees and their dependents.”
The setup suggests that US companies are growing as impatient as their employees with the state of American health care—and that better medical benefits will perhaps be the next great battleground in the war for talent.
Just last month, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway jointly revealed a plan to form their own health care service, “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.” That still unnamed venture will first serve the three firms’ employees, but may eventually be open to anyone, potentially disrupting healthcare in the United States.
In both cases, technology and data play will a central role. Amazon’s co-creation is expected to drive down costs by introducing Amazon’s predictive data and logistics expertise to a health care system that is sorely inefficient and fractured. At Apple’s clinics, health care practitioners will be expected to embrace technology. A job ad notes that the AC Wellness Network believes that “having trusting, accessible relationships with our patients, enabled by technology, promotes high-quality care and a unique patient experience.”
Current job openings include those for a primary care physician, a phlebotomist, a nurse practitioner, a care navigator, and a clinical exercise coach. “Designers” are also being recruited to map programs for preventing illnesses and encouraging healthier habits.
As with the Amazon et al. project, AC Wellness could prove to be a lab for health products and services made for the public at large. Sources told CNBC that Apple is planning to expand its health care offerings for consumers, and Apple CEO Tim Cook told shareholders recently that he feels Apple has a “great position” in the sector.
“Maybe it’s inevitable that the solution to America’s health-care crisis won’t come from government, business, or academia, but from the charitable impulses of billionaires,” Quartz at Work’s Oliver Staley wrote last month.
One day, a part of that solution may also come from the local Apple store.