Apple is staffing dozens of doctors amid a greater medical focus

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Apple has hired between 40 and 50 doctors in recent years, shedding more light on the tech giant's plans to upend healthcare, per CNBC. These doctors are scattered across Apple's health initiatives, including the Apple Watch team, the Health Records group, and the team running AC Wellness, Apple's employee medical clinics.

Apple Healthcare Timeline 17-18Business Insider Intelligence
Apple's intention to pivot from consumer-grade wellness devices to products with medical value has come into sharp focus in 2018. For example, Apple released the latest Apple Watch with FDA-cleared medical features and also landed a joint surgery study with medical device company Zimmer Biomet.

Apple also tallied 400,000 sign-ups for the Apple Heart Study launched with Stanford Medicine in 2017, making it the largest study on atrial fibrillation (AFib) ever conducted. Finally, Apple's pushed Health Records - a feature of its Health app that allows consumers to store medical records on their iPhone to make it easier for patients and hospitals to share patient data- to hospital clients.

Apple now lists 156healthcare institutions on its site that support integration with the Health app, and signed up six more health systems just last week, according to a Tweet from Apple Clinical and Health Informatics Lead Ricky Bloomfield.

Building out its team with healthcare staff should add legitimacy to Apple's continued march into the medical field:

  • Apple's medical staff could help assuage doctors' skepticism around Apple in healthcare. Medical professionals vocalized their doubts following the Apple Watch 4 announcement, cautioning the Watch could errantly flood emergency departments with patients.
  • Apple may lean on the doctors' expertise to scale its medical clinics. Apple announced the construction of two internal health clinics in February. The tech giant may look to create a network of clinics - and eventually open them to the public.

Apple's not the only tech giant dipping into the medical field for new hires. Google recently poached Geisinger Health System CEO David Feinberg for a newly appointed role overseeing the tech giant's healthcare initiatives. And Amazon brought former FDA Chief Health Informatics Officer Taha Kass-Hout on to Amazon's secretive 1492 health lab in March. Further, Microsoft appointed the former CEO of health system Dartmouth-Hitchcock as the vice president of its healthcare unit in June, according to Healthcare IT News.



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