Apple Health is undergoing personnel changes after numerous departures following years of internal friction about objectives, CNBC reported on Tuesday (Aug. 20).
The company’s healthcare team has been at odds for years, eight people familiar with the situation told the news outlet. Four of the eight sources said employees had anticipated solving larger healthcare system dilemmas and digging deeper into issues like telemedicine and health payments. However, Apple Health focused on offering preferred features for healthy users.
Apple declined to comment to CNBC for this story.
Health remains a key concern for Apple, and has been instrumental in boosting Apple Watch sales in the face of declining iPhone business. CEO Tim Cook has said that health at Apple will be the company’s “greatest contribution to mankind.”
It’s not known if the number of departures from the company’s health team is higher than other Apple segments, but the shakeup outlines the difficulties tech companies can have in navigating the convoluted $3.5 trillion healthcare vertical. Healthcare employees tend to want to fight the biggest problems in the industry, while tech companies generally take a more systematic approach.
Current exits include marketing’s Christine Eun, an eight-year veteran; Brian Ellis, who oversaw the wellness team of a branch running Apple employee health clinics; and Matt Krey, who left to focus on family. Warris Bokhari left for Anthem and researcher Andrew Trister joined the Gates Foundation earlier this month.
The Apple Health team, which reports to COO Jeff Williams, was instrumental to the Watch team’s advancement into sensors and algorithms in healthcare.
The Apple Watch is getting expanded use in healthcare management; Cook has said it is becoming an “indispensable tool” for users worldwide. One example is Aetna’s collaboration with Apple in launching Attain, a new health experience. Via the Apple Watch, the Attain app will give Aetna members access to personalized goals and recommendations, along with the ability to track daily activity levels and earn rewards for taking actions to improve their overall well-being.