Apple is getting serious about its healthcare ambitions, as evidenced by a growing amount of medical professionals in its staff.
The Cupertino tech giant has reportedly hired between 40 and 50 doctors and other medical professionals over the last few years, two sources familiar with the matter told CNBC.
While the majority of the medical professionals haven’t disclosed their positions at Apple, sources say that the doctors aren’t just for show. Those doctors are reportedly working across the firm’s teams and guiding Apple’s strategy as it moves further into the healthcare sphere.
The news outlet notes that the medical staff could help Apple win the approval of doctors as it develops integrated health technologies in its devices.
More than that, Apple may also be seeking to create medical apps, such as platforms that will be able to aid “people with serious medical problems” and help customers manage diseases.
One criticism of Apple’s health ambitions is that its products have been focused on healthy individuals maintaining their wellbeing and fitness.
These recent hires suggest that Apple won’t just cater to the so-called “worried well.”
One example that CNBC highlights is an Apple partnership with medical manufacturer Zimmer Biomet. The two firms are studying whether Apple’s proprietary technology could help patients recover from knee or hip replacement surgery.
On that note, Apple’s medical staff may also help the company win over physicians. When the Cupertino tech giant launched its ECG feature, it published a webpage that sought to answer doctors’ questions about it.
It’s worth noting that CNBC reported that most of the doctors are still practicing medicine while working at Apple. That could help those staff members keep up with the latest trends and best practices in the healthcare sphere.
There have been quite a few other indications that Apple has been ramping up its health and wellness efforts over the last few years.
For one, the company has released a series of dedicated, first-party developer platforms aimed at revolutionizing chronic patient care and medical research projects — CareKit and ResearchKit, respectively.
In addition, the company has partnered with Stanford University to launch the Apple Heart Study — a first-of-its-kind research endeavor to determine whether the Apple Watch can reliably detect atrial fibrillation or AFib.
For consumers, the most obvious benefit of these recent hires is better health technology. While having doctors on staff may not allay all concerns about Apple’s health ambitions, they will certainly help guide the company in its mission to revitalize and dominate health technology.