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Apple Appears All-In on Healthcare with Dozens of Doctors on Payroll

Posted on December 14, 2018 by Medtech[y] Staff

A new report from CNBC’s Christina Farr further confirmed Apple’s commitment to healthcare as they now have dozens of doctors on staff. With the recent FDA de novo clearance of Apple’s Watch apps, physician hiring is the next step in showing how serious the company is about healthcare technology that can help manage diseases as opposed to limiting the focus on wellness and fitness.

Here are the key details:

  • In recent years, Apple has hired more than 40-50 doctors. Many haven’t updated their LinkedIn profiles in order to keep their role private.
  • The doctors are influential within the organization, often scattered across various teams and have the ear of executives at Apple.
  • This strategy could help win over the medical community as it shows that Apple is committed to healthcare and integrating useful technologies into the Apple ecosystem. There has been concern from physicians that Apple is catering to the “worried well” and not building applications focusing on serious medical problems. Having doctors part of the process can help ease these concerns.
  • Hiring doctors is not new as other tech companies such as Amazon and Alphabet each have a number of doctors employed.
  • A recent example is when Apple hired orthopedic surgeon, Sharat Kusuma, to manage its partnership with medical device maker Zimmer Biomet to study whether Apple technology can help patients recover from knee and hip replacement surgeries.
Apple Doctors

Doctors are generally reluctant to change, and having peers in the medical community part of the development process, can only help their adoption of new tools to help manage challenging medical conditions.

In their everyday practice, doctors are consumed with technology and are limited in time. If a new health tech tool can reduce the daily burden on their practice, and improve a patient’s overall life, then they will adopt the technology. Apple appears to understand this as they are involving doctors who deal with the same burden in their own practice and can share the best ways to introduce these technologies into the medical community.