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Apple has posted an employment ad that tips the company’s hand somewhat on its plans in the health care field.

It’s known that Apple has been working with IBM to develop apps for health care providers, and now the sales team needed to sell the apps is being assembled.

The employment ad (spotted by 9th5Mac) asks for an “IBM Business Development Executive – Healthcare & Retail.” The person can reside in either Seattle or Los Angeles.

Here’s part of the role description: “Measure and manage all operational responsibilities of the partnership lifecycle – team introductions, joint customer meetings, deliverables like workshops, device and App pipelines, AppleCare for Enterprise pipeline, etc.”

The rest of the ad is limited to general sales role and organizational responsibilities, and the verbiage carefully avoids spilling any information on the actual product the executive is expected to sell.

But one source told VentureBeat that Apple is hoping to get an escort into legacy health care provider accounts via IBM, with the goal of replacing some of the apps traditionally provided by Microsoft with Apple/IBM ones.

Microsoft provides a range of familiar enterprise communication and collaboration software for hospitals, like Share Point, for instance. In general, Microsoft software provides workflow automation for patient intake and discharge.

It has also sold the HealthVault platform, which can act as a place where patients, their families, doctors, and other caregivers can exchange information on the patient’s health. Cleveland Clinic has quietly been using Microsoft HealthVault to keep tabs on remote or at-risk patients in its Distance Health program.

Apple/IBM apps could address any of those use cases.

For example, Apple does offer an integration platform similar to Microsoft’s HealthVault called HealthKit. It’s thought that providers such as the Mayo Clinic are using HealthKit to share information from their medical records with patients outside the medical group or hospital, often through an integration with the health provider’s own patient app.

It’s possible that Apple and IBM could develop more apps that integrate with HealthKit, but that’s pure speculation.


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