Cupertino, CA — Typically it’s the month of September that’s abuzz with Apple news of new iPhones and a fresh iOS, but in 2017, June has been a quiet riot of Apple news in the health space. 

Earlier this month, new reports revealed that Apple had hired Dr. Sumbul Desai, the executive director of Stanford Medicine’s center of digital health. For years Desai has been a bright spot on the digital health landscape, partnering with tech companies to advance the practice of medicine and improve the patient experience. She was also instrumental in the creation of Stanford’s Clickwell Care, a pioneering telehealth primary care clinic. Back in 2015, it managed to shift 60% of its visits from in-person to virtual and quickly became a true north for success in telehealth.

Additionally, in recent weeks information has surfaced that shows Apple is also partnering with EHR startup Health Gorilla to evolve the iPhone into a hub for medical data. The latter has built a “truly universal EHR platform” ( that can aggregate a patient’s data from multiple providers and facilities on a mobile device. The HIPAA-compliant system also allows providers to share records, place orders, make referrals, and more.

Why This Matters —

From the resurgence of vinyl albums to Twin Peaks' return to television, there’s a rising tide of nostalgia everywhere. Could Apple be aiming to translate what it did with music more than a decade ago to the healthcare space? Last time, it replaced CDs and scattered MP3s with two things: the simple, centralized, and connected platform of the iTunes store and the ever-mobile iPod. This time, it could bring the same coordination, portability, and shareability to healthcare. If the plan works, it would revolutionize the industry, impacting everything from how patients seek and receive care to the way drugs are tested and marketed.

About the Author:

Drew Beck has spent his entire career in healthcare — from direct patient care as an EMT in college to countless roles in pharma sales and global marketing for leading life science companies including Eli Lilly & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline. He is currently a leader on the Syneos Health Insights & Innovation team, a group charged with leveraging deep expertise in virtual collaboration, behavioral science, trends-based-innovation, custom research and global marketing insights.