Apple recently hired Dr. Sumbul Desai, who led the recently launched Stanford Center for Digital healthcare.

Apple Inc. is hiring Stanford’s digital health leader, Dr. Sumbul Desai, Stanford Medicine confirmed to Internet Health Management.

Desai headed up Stanford’s Center for Digital Health, which the Stanford University School of Medicine launched in January 2017. The goal of the center is to enhance Stanford’s digital health initiatives via collaboration with digital technology companies, clinical research and education. Stanford has close ties to Apple.

Stanford did not disclose who is replacing Desai. Stanford Health Care is No. 181 in the Internet Health management 2017 Digital Hospital 500.

Desai and Apple did not respond to a request for comment on her new role at Apple. Desai has worked at Stanford since 2008, when she started as a resident physician of internal medicine. Later she held roles as medical director, strategic innovations; assistant chief, strategy; clinical associate professor; associate chief medical officer, strategy and innovation; and vice chair, strategy and innovation and chief for the Center of Digital Health.

Recently, Apple has padded its staff with healthcare talent. In November 2016, Apple hired Dr. Ricky Bloomfield who was director of mobile technology and strategy at Duke University Health System. Duke University Hospital is No. 124 in the Digital Hospital 500. Plus, in September 2016, Apple hired Dr. Mike Evans, a staff physician at St. Michaels Hospital in Toronto and an associate professor of family and community medicine at the University of Toronto.


Apple’s health initiatives include its consumer facing Health app, which allows user to track and look at their health data, such as weight and blood pressure, from multiple health apps in one place, and Apple HealthKit, which is a suite of tools developers can use to create health apps that can communicate with the Health app. The Health app comes preloaded on Apple smartphones, which is 43.9% (the majority) of all U.S. smartphone subscribers, according to web and mobile measurement firm comScore Inc. as of April 2017.