Apple hires doctor with HealthKit experience away from Stanford Children's Hospital

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2016
According to a report published Thursday, Apple recently poached Dr. Rajiv Kumar, a pediatric specialist whose diabetes ResearchKit study made headlines in 2014, away from Stanford Children's Health.




Christopher Dawes, CEO of Kumar's former employer Lucille Packard Children's Hospital, confirmed the recent Apple hire to Fast Company, saying the endocrinologist will continue on a part-time basis at the Stanford facility.

"We can't compete with companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook when they really want one of our own," Dawes said.

Apple did not comment on the matter, and Kumar's role at the company is unknown.

Kumar was one of the first medical professionals to take advantage of Apple's HealthKit platform through a ResearchKit study focused on Type 1 diabetes monitoring. The trial, highlighted by national media outlets in 2014, operated under the auspices of Stanford's hospital and used iPod touch and a medical device from DexCom to help patients keep track of blood sugar levels throughout the day. With HealthKit and the ResearchKit backbone, trial subjects were able to securely share aggregated data with healthcare professionals.

Today's news comes one week after Apple posted a job opening seeking a lawyer with expertise in the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Apple's Privacy Counsel position advises on federal regulatory matters related to future products, suggesting the company plans to develop comprehensive medical technology beyond unregulated devices like Apple Watch.

Over the past two years Apple has released a number of health and fitness products, starting with the debut of HealthKit in 2014. A recent report suggests the company's interest in the industry began with a challenge from late cofounder Steve Jobs, who sought to fix what he viewed as a disjointed healthcare system. Jobs believed technology could solve a data gap between patients and healthcare professionals, an idea that gave rise to HealthKit, ResearchKit and ultimately Apple Watch.

The most recent Apple advance s also the one that comes closest to answering Jobs' request. In April, CareKit was introduced as an open framework on which developers can build software solutions for tracking, managing and reporting medical conditions.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 433member
    I wonder how recent this hire was? Interesting that new hires related to Health aren't kept secret but that the hiring of Sinisa Durekovic took 7 months to be reported. Now that the Apple Watch has been released there doesn't seem to be the need to keep some of these new hires secret. But there is obviously still a lot of secrecy surrounding Project Titan.
    Looking forward to WWDC to see what Apple announces in the Health sphere.
    cali
  • Reply 2 of 15
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    Nice.
    I like the 'faint waft' of negative spin written into this article's tone.
    GJ, Mike.
    mikeycampbell81
  • Reply 3 of 15
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Apple isn't doing anything innovative because they won't tell us what they're doing. So that means their doing nothing!!!1

    P.S.
    cant wait to see the negative spins.
    edited June 2016 lollivercornchipericthehalfbee
  • Reply 4 of 15
    bryaninobryanino Posts: 2member
    bobschlob said:
    Nice.
    I like the 'faint waft' of negative spin written into this article's tone.
    GJ, Mike.
    I can see the press headlines already...."Apple steals Doctor from sick children............"
    cali
  • Reply 5 of 15
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    They got Kumar now they need Harold. 
    sree
  • Reply 6 of 15
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member

    A recent report suggests the company's interest in the industry began with a challenge from late cofounder Steve Jobs, who sought to fix what he viewed as a disjointed healthcare system. Jobs believed technology could solve a data gap between patients and healthcare professionals, an idea that gave rise to HealthKit, ResearchKit and ultimately Apple Watch.
    I think it's making a connection where there isn't necessarily any to say ultimately because of Steve we have Apple Watch. There were smartwatch before Apple Watch and I'd bet even without Steve's wishes on the health front we'd still have one. Ive and co love their watches. As he said, the wrist was always an interesting location for wearable technology with a long history.
    edited June 2016 sirlance99
  • Reply 7 of 15
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    On the diabetes front Apple need to really push the state of the art forward. The quicker we can get a wrist worn non-invasive blood sugar monitor lives will be saved. For those diabetics it would improve the quality of their life greatly.

    That and a hydration monitor: "looks like you need a glass of water"
    edited June 2016 calijfc1138
  • Reply 8 of 15
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,321member
    ireland said:
    On the diabetes front Apple need to really push the state of the art forward. The quicker we can get a wrist worn non-invasive blood sugar monitor lives will be saved. For those diabetics it would improve the quality of their life greatly.

    That and a hydration monitor: "looks like you need a glass of water"
    Using something like focused pressurized gas instead of a needle to pierce the skin for a teeny blood sample might be a less-painful idea, and probably fit nicely in a wrist-worn device. 
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 9 of 15
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    gatorguy said:

    Using something like focused pressurized gas instead of a needle to pierce the skin for a teeny blood sample might be a less-painful idea, and probably fit nicely in a wrist-worn device. 
    Lighting and accompanying sensors is the solution. You don't need to pierce the skin.
    edited June 2016 gatorguycali
  • Reply 10 of 15
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,321member
    ireland said:
    gatorguy said:

    Using something like focused pressurized gas instead of a needle to pierce the skin for a teeny blood sample might be a less-painful idea, and probably fit nicely in a wrist-worn device. 
    Lighting and accompanying sensors is the solution. You don't need to pierce the skin.
    Ah, you're right! Good comment.
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2014/11/diabetes-glucose-through-skin-spectroscopy
  • Reply 11 of 15
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,889member
    bryanino said:
    bobschlob said:
    Nice.
    I like the 'faint waft' of negative spin written into this article's tone.
    GJ, Mike.
    I can see the press headlines already...."Apple steals Doctor from sick children............"
    Either that or "Apple steals Doc to fix sinking Research Kit"
    cali
  • Reply 12 of 15
    ireland said:
     [T]he wrist was always an interesting location for wearable technology with a long history.
    Long history indeed:

    nolamacguyafrodri
    iu.jpg 111.7K
  • Reply 13 of 15
    jakebjakeb Posts: 559member

    "We can't compete with companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook when they really want one of our own," Dawes said.

    I always find it weird when companies talk about employees like the own them.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,324member
    "We can't compete with companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook when they really want one of our own"

    On the flip side, how much more good will come to all of humanity by having this doctor working for a company who A) has the money to fund state-of-the-art research and B) genuinely wants to make things that improve lives in regards to health monitoring and information technology?

    For example, this could result in some breakthrough monitoring tech for diabetes patients that comes to market a couple years earlier because of Apple's R&D versus his previous position.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 15 of 15
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    ireland said:
    gatorguy said:

    Using something like focused pressurized gas instead of a needle to pierce the skin for a teeny blood sample might be a less-painful idea, and probably fit nicely in a wrist-worn device. 
    Lighting and accompanying sensors is the solution. You don't need to pierce the skin.
    There is another method using radio waves, but technically not really possible on a watch because you need a sensor opposite from a transmitter, and although you could theoretically put the sensor on the watchband, it might require a much stronger RF signal than you'd want. Currently they use the radio wave method sending the signal through the thin flap of skin between the thumb and forefinger or an earlobe.

    http://www.gluco-wise.com
    edited June 2016
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