As Apple endeavors to expand its reach in healthcare, an analyst has opined that the company could help ease the transfer of medical data by buying the major health tech player Athenahealth.
Apple has significantly bolstered the health-focused functionality of its devices in recent years. Those moves have included developing the Health app, which has been capable of collecting a wealth of wellness data since iOS 8, and refashioning the Apple Watch as something closer to a fitness band.
On Wednesday, CNBC reported that the Cupertino company was seeking to make the iPhone a repository in which an even broader array of medical information, such as doctors visits, medications, and laboratory results, could be kept. This could ease the sharing of data between medical providers.
In the wake of CNBC’s report, Citigroup analyst Garen Sarafian has stated that Apple should purchase Athenahealth. In a note detailed by CNBC, Sarafian remarked that, while Apple’s access to clinical systems capturing hospital-based data is limited, Athenahealth can provide access to about 83 million patient records. The company has also integrated with clinical IT systems such as Cerner and Epic.
Therefore, an Apple acquisition of Athenahealth, even despite the latter’s market capitalization near $6 billion, would be logical, the analyst told clients. The move, he reasoned, could assist Apple in smoothing medical data exchanges, the interoperability of which remains one of healthcare’s biggest issues.