Core Apple Health Team in a Spot as ‘Blurred Vision’ Leads to Vacant Benches

'Blurred vision' hurts the stellar performer - Apple's Health Care Team, says CNBC report. Device features or wellness and prevention at the core of the issues bogging Apple's Health Care Team. 

Top leadership in Apple Health Care team seems to whittle under the burden of vacant benches led by discontent and discord, as per recent CNBC report. This ambitious division was lauded and described by Tim Cook Apple CEO as Apple’s ‘greatest contribution to mankind.’

Apple Watch – main constituent of Apple product ‘war chest,’ is responsible for Health Kit Apps like EEG (electrocardiogram), Heart Rate Monitor, Fall Detection, etc. Coming from Apple Health team, it is envied and held in very high esteem due to its stupendous performance and achievements.

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Departures Hurt Apple Health Team Due To Lack of Decision Making & Direction  

It not only cared for preventive (Wellness) but also supported in areas of medical interventions and recovery, which is more ambitious and challenging.

Probably, this served as discord among Apple’s top leaders heading the division, and when ideas and views get stifled, discomfort and dissonance at work impact virulently.

On recent departures, the report mentioned, “Christine Eun, who worked at Apple for almost eight years with a background in marketing and who left this month, according to two people; Brian Ellis, who left the team overseeing AC Wellness, a subsidiary that operates health clinics for Apple employees, and went back to Apple Music in June, and Matt Krey, who left Apple in May and is taking time to focus on his family, according to LinkedIn.

Taking decisions and moving in a particular direction is where the problem lay according to persons known to CNBC and who conveyed it all. But the onset of the decline happened early than thought as the discussions turned to opinions that in some case were considered valuable while others were dumped causing dissent.

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A portion of Apple’s Health team reportedly wanted to introduce a telemedicine service and move into health payments specifically but was unsuccessful. Another section wanted to do more with Beddit, the sleep tracking company Apple acquired in 2017.

Dissent then led to either attrition with next in leadership abandoning their relevant posts for better future elsewhere or allowing this to passe. However, the morass was not allowed to creep in, what with the infusion of fresh blood and leadership in the form of people like Sumbul Desai.

Leadership Scramble Does Not Bring in Desired Results

Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer, heads the Apple Health Team with a key interest in the medical sector. He is also involved in other issues like Supply Chain that eats in his time, and it is left for others in the Health Care Team to fend.

As per CNBC report, “The health group’s leadership includes Kevin Lynch, who oversees software projects, including the group of doctors and engineers working on health records; Eugene Kim, who leads watch hardware, and Sumbul Desai, who oversees the clinical team that runs AC Wellness health clinics, the electrocardiogram app and the Apple Heart Study, and health strategy. There’s also a separate business development group under former health consultant Myoung Cha that works with health insurance customers, such as Aetna, as well as pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson.”

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It adds, “Other recent departures that were previously reported include Warris Bokhari, who went to Anthem this summer, and researcher Andrew Trister, who got scooped up by the Gates Foundation earlier this month.

However, it was Sumbul’s team that had major human resource losses registered for Apple. The report said instead of focusing on creating features for its devices, Apple should move to focus on wellness and prevention for healthy people which is considered to be less risky and less regulated business. However, all agreed on the contention that healthcare remains a ‘strategic priority’ for the company.

Point to note, according to the report is that at present, there’s no single senior vice president dedicated to health.

Thus, the vision further blurs on two grounds; whether to pursue tackling bigger challenges with the health care system, such as medical devices, telemedicine, and health payments or focus on features geared towards iPhone and Apple Watch users?

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As the internal rumble goes on, Apple leadership has much to ‘walk the talk’ even as the promising Apple Watch keeps a tab on my heart, pulse, breath, and sleep.

It still pounds well for Apple’s well being, and I totally depend and defend Apple, as vehemently as a prize.

Nikhil Makwana
Nikhil runs iGB’s official YouTube channel. He is the official lensman of iGB and GB’s small studio is Nikhil’s playground, where he does all wonders with his remarkable signature. When Nikhil is not in his studio, you may spot him in a gourmet restaurant, chomping his way through some delicious food. He is a great traveler, who can go for long drives in search of good food.
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