Apple is continuing to push the healthcare field, this time with a deal with Epic Systems to provide a Mac-friendly version of its health records application. The deal will allow Epic Systems to create a health records tool that is easier to run on Apple devices.
Epic Systems is the largest provider of electronic health records in the United States, and approximately half of the population's medical records are stored in systems powered by Epic software and technology. Epic's lack of comprehensive Mac, iPad, and iPhone software has inhibited Apple's ability to further develop the health records industry.
Apple reportedly asked Epic to create a native version of the service" for Apple devices, but the two companies reached a compromise by creating a version that was easier to run on Apple devices. Apple did not acknowledge the deal, but Axios said it had been confirmed by "Epic insiders.
Axios explained that the deal happened despite Epic and Apple's previous disagreements over health records and data sharing. Apple has pushed to relax health records sharing requirements, while Epic has staunchly opposed it. Epic argued that rule changes focused on "interoperability" would "overburden our health system and would jeopardize patient privacy."
Given the pace of developments in the healthcare industry, especially around medical records technology, it may be a while before we see the fruits of this new deal. It could ultimately be good for the industry and consumers, especially if it improves data integration with other Apple platforms and services.