Apple has hired dozens of doctors, indicating that the tech company has big plans to increase its participation in the health care industry, CNBC reports.
Apple doctors signal shift to medical conditions
CNBC found about 20 physicians working for Apple via LinkedIn, and sources told CNBC that the company has hired up to 50. Some of the doctors have not disclosed their connection to Apple—"which is commonplace at a company that prides itself on secrecy," according to CNBC.
Based on hiring numbers, CNBC reports that Apple is likely serious about plans to help people manage disease—rather than just wellness or fitness. The recently hired doctors will most likely help the company create technologies to assist people with serious medical conditions—a slight departure from previously released applications that are solely focused on fitness and wellness.
For instance, orthopedic surgeon Sharat Kusuma joined the company to lead the team that manages Apple's partnership with medical device company Zimmer Biomet. The team, along with Zimmer Biomet, is researching whether Apple technology can help patients who are recovering from hip and knee replacement surgery.
News of Apple's work in orthopedics followed the company's announcement that its Apple Watch 4, which has hit the market, features an FDA-cleared electrocardiogram (EKG). According to CNBC, Apple is now having doctors focus on integrating different health sensors into Apple Watch and developing software that can aggregate and safely store patients' medical records.
Making new technology doctor friendly
According to Axios, the new doctors can also help ensure a smooth transition into the health care industry for Apple by helping other clinicians adapt to the company's new health care technologies and applications—which could initiate more buy-in from doctors who are usually frustrated by the influx of new technologies.
Many of the newly hired doctors at Apple also continue to see patients, which could help Apple with patient experience, according to CNBC (Farr, CNBC, 12/13; Baker, Axios, 12/13; Fingas, AppleInsider, 12/12; Tsang/Satariano, New York Times, 12/13).
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