Apple is reportedly launching a new healthcare venture this spring, but it will only aid its own employees—at least for now.
The new health clinics, operating under the name AC Wellness, will initially provide care for Apple workers in Santa Clara County, near the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, according to a report from CNBC. There are currently two clinics, including one at Apple Park, but it seems the network is growing based on several job listings. Many of the listings state that AC Wellness is a “subsidiary of Apple, Inc.” and one listing mentions an upcoming third location. “Our mission,” one job post states, “is to deliver the world’s best healthcare experiences for Apple employees.”
As far as how Apple plans to do that, there’s some information listed on the stealthily launched AC Wellness website, which claims the primacy care centers “offer a unique concierge-like healthcare experience for employees and their dependents” and seek job candidates with “an appreciation for the patient experience and passion for wellness and population health—integrating best clinical practices and technology in a manner that drives patient engagement.”
Focusing on “patient engagement” and “population health” is good, of course, but it’s especially beneficial when you’re a company that would rather keep its employees healthy and working. Based on the job openings, it seems that one of the ways AC Wellness is focusing on population health is by hiring designers who will create plans for encouraging healthy practices and inhibiting the spread of disease.
Apple’s move echoes recent developments from Amazon. Last month, Amazon teamed up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to create a new healthcare system for employees. And recent reports suggest that Amazon is considering a move into the pharmaceutical industry.
Apple did not reply to a Gizmodo request for comment. Sources told CNBC that Apple plans to use AC Wellness clinics as a platform for testing out products and services that it could eventually provide for all consumers. While both Apple’s and Amazon’s healthcare designs fit into the larger trend of Silicon Valley trying to reinvent healthcare, Apple creating its own internal healthcare system could be a step toward building a technocracy where elite tech employees receive better healthcare than the unwashed masses.
But in the meantime, at least there is immediate care for those Apple employees smacking into Apple Park’s glass walls.