Dr. Sumbul Desai is the latest hire for Apple’s digital health team. She’s the executive director for Stanford Medicine’s center for digital health, manages an Apple Watch-based project to promote health, and now will have a senior role on Apple’s health team.
Just exactly what Dr. Desai will be doing on Apple’s health team is unclear, according to CNBC. She may be joining the groups working on products such as HealthKit and CareKit, or running a new project that hasn’t been announced yet.
Regardless of what she’ll be assigned to, Dr. Desai is bringing a lot of experience to the table. Her extensive work with Apple Watch in the health field, her research into using technology to enhance patient health care, and her work creating Stanford’s first virtual primary care clinic all make her an excellent addition to Apple’s own health efforts.
Apple’s Growing Health Team
Dr. Desai is joining a growing list of health and fitness experts at Apple. Michael O’Reilly MD is vice president of medical technology and previously was Masimo’s Chief Medical Officer.
Other hires include Ravi Narasimhan who served as vice president of research at Vital Connect, Nancy Dougherty who was in charge of hardware at the transdermal medicine delivery company Sano, Ueyn Block who was director of optics and systems engineering at C8 MediSensors, and Todd Whitehurst who worked at Senseonics as vice president of product development.
Apple is also reportedly working on a non-invasive blood glucose monitoring system that may be an add-on watch band for the Apple Watch. Apple hasn’t confirmed the project yet, but is said to be in the clinical trial phase now.
While Dr. Desai will no doubt be devoting a great deal of her time to Apple, she’s still seeing patients at Stanford. Odds are she’ll be using Apple Watch with at least some of them to track their health.