Apple has hired a slew of medical doctors to help the company develop and integrate health technologies into its Apple Watch, iPad and iPhone.
Citing two people familiar with the company’s hiring, CNBC reported that the move also suggests that Apple is working on developing applications to help people with serious medical problems. Sources have revealed that the company currently employs as many as 50 doctors, with many not disclosing their role at Apple.
Apple has hired the doctors to not only improve their technology, but also to defend itself against criticism. For example, the company hired orthopedic surgeon Sharat Kusuma to manage its partnership with medical device maker Zimmer Biomet to find out whether Apple’s technology can actually help patients recover from knee and hip replacement surgeries. And Sumbul Desai, a doctor from Stanford Medicine, is a top leader in the health group working closely with COO Jeff Williams. Other notable doctors on staff include Mike Evans, a family medicine doctor on the special projects team, and Michael O’Reilly, an anesthesiologist who’s been at Apple for almost six years.
The doctors at Apple are spread out in various departments across the company. Many are working on Apple Watch, while some are on the health records group, helping create software to gather patient medical information and store it securely, and others are performing research and development work. Some recent hires are also working in Apple’s AC Wellness primary care group, treating employees near its headquarters.
Apple is certainly not the only major company with doctors on its roster. A LinkedIn search by CNBC shows a handful at Amazon, including cardiologist Maulik Majmudar and family physician Ben Green, and more than a dozen at Alphabet, with the largest number stationed at life sciences arm Verily, AI research group Brain and the company’s venture investing groups.