Apple (AAPL) is secretly developing technology capable of giving iPhone users easy access to often hard-to-reach medical information, including lab results, diagnoses, prescriptions and doctor's comments.

According to CNBC, the tech giant’s health unit has been talking with developers, hospitals and industry groups, including "The Argonaut Project" and “The Carin Alliance," in a bid to make medical records more accessible. At present, many patient files are in the form of PDFs attached to emails, making it increasingly difficult for doctors and patients to locate and share important information with different clinics and hospitals. Health experts have warned that this conundrum is endangering lives.

Apple revolutionized the music industry with iTunes, and it believes it can tackle this problem with the same approach. By creating a centralized management system for healthcare, it is hopeful that data from various different sources can all be brought together under one easy to navigate system. (See also: Apple Stock Could Fall to $110 in Coming Months.)

CNBC’s sources claim that the company is keen to acquire startups in the cloud hosting space, indicating that medical data might be potentially stored over the internet. These same sources added that Apple has also been busy recruiting top developers linked to Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), a popular protocol for exchanging electronic health records. Recent recruits include a physician from Duke University with expertise in medical informatics and a former employee of privately-owned healthcare software company Epic Systems.

Apple isn’t the first technology company to have a crack at creating a web-based patient health record database. Google (GOOGL) shut down its health product in 2011, reportedly due to a lack of traction, while Microsoft (MSFT) encountered similar issues with its own software.

Micky Tripathi, president and CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative and a health IT expert, told CNBC that one of the biggest issues was a lack of interest among patients. "At any given time, only about 10 to 15 percent of patients care about this stuff," he said.

However, Tripathi added that Apple, whose products are already used by many doctors and patients across the globe, is perhaps better placed to succeed. "If any company can figure out engagement, it's Apple," he said. (See also: Apple Has Acquired a Company That Monitors Sleep.)

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