Apple is continuing to push into health care, this time striking a deal with Epic Systems for a Mac-friendly version of its health records app. As reported by Axios, the deal will see Epic Systems create a version of its health records tool that “is easier to run on Apple devices.”
Apple had reportedly pushed for Epic to create a “native version of the service” for Apple devices, but the two companies settled on this compromise of a version that is “easier to run on Apple devices” instead. Apple hasn’t acknowledged this deal, but Axios says it was confirmed by a “source inside Epic.”
The deal comes despite previous disagreements between Epic and Apple over health records and data sharing, Axios explains. Apple has pushed for easing health record sharing requirements, something that Epic is firmly opposed to. Epic argued that rule changes focused on “interoperability” will be “overly burdensome on our health system and will endanger patient privacy.”
Epic Systems is the largest electronic health records vendor in the United States, with “roughly half the population’s medical records” being stored in a system powered by Epic software and technology. The lack of well-developed Mac, iPad, and iPhone software from Epic has put inhibited Apple’s ability to tap further into the health records industry.
Given the pace at which things in the healthcare industry move — especially around medical records technology — it’ll likely be awhile before we see any results of this new deal. None the less, it could end up being good for the industry and consumers, particularly if it improves data integration with other Apple platforms and services.