Apple Inc. (AAPL) seriously considered moving into the health care market, holding talks to acquire Crossover Health, a startup that helps large companies create and manage on-site medical clinics.

Citing three sources familiar with the matter, CNBC reported that talks lasted for months but did not result in a deal. Apple was also eyeing One Medical, a nationwide primary-care group, reported CNBC. Apple and Facebook are among Crossover Health’s clients, bringing technology to health clinics by offering same-day appointments on a mobile app. It has clinics in New York and the San Francisco Bay area.

For more than a year, talk about pushing into the primary-care market has been ongoing inside Apple's health unit, reported CNBC. Chief Executive Tim Cook has even recently said he sees health care as a significant “business opportunity.” It remains to be seen if the company will make a move and if it will build its own clinics around the country, like its retail stores, or partner with providers. It is an industry rife for disruption and one in which demand for primary-care services is surpassing the number of doctors. CNBC reported that by 2025, there could be a shortage of as many as 35,000 primary-care doctors in the U.S. alone.

Health Care Watch

It could also be a way for Apple to expand its retail presence, noted the report. After all, its devices already have a lot of health capabilities and apps. "Apple has cracked a nut in terms of consumer delight, and in the health care setting a non-trivial proportion of satisfaction comes from the quality of interaction in the waiting room and physical space," said Nina Kjellson, a health tech investor, in the report. "It would help build credibility with Apple Watch and other health apps." (See also: Apple Has Acquired a Company That Monitors Sleep.)

This wouldn’t be Apple’s first foray into the health care market. Its new Apple Watch 3 has become more than a device to track movements, play music and check email. Aiming to become the main smartwatch for the health care market, the hear heart rate monitoring technology on the device can now show the resting heart rate and will alert the user when the heart rate is elevated when the person doesn’t appear to be active. Meanwhile, CNBC reported in June the company has been developing technology capable of giving iPhone users easy access medical information such as lab results, diagnoses, prescriptions and doctor's comments. CNBC reported that Apple's health unit has been talking with developers, hospitals, and industry groups in an effort to make medical records more accessible. (See more: Apple Wants to Help People Store and Share Medical Records.)

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