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Apple has dozens of doctors on staff

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The number of doctors on staff is an indication that Apple is serious about helping customers manage disease, and not just wellness or fitness.

For instance, the company hired an orthopedic surgeon, Sharat Kusuma, to manage its partnership with medical device maker Zimmer Biomet to study whether Apple technology can help patients recover from knee and hip replacement surgeries. Kusuma’s LinkedIn profile states that he’s leading that particular team.

Doctors can also help Apple guide the medical community on how to use Apple’s new health technologies, and to deflect criticism. As an example, when Apple announced its electrocardiogram sensor to track heart rhythm irregularities, the company put up a website to help answer physicians’ questions. That’s important because there’s a very high bar to win approval among doctors who fear liability, and are already overburdened by technology.

The doctors at Apple aren’t in one singular group but are spread out across the organization.

Many are working on Apple Watch, which has a variety of different product groups focusing on health sensors (several teams contain an embedded doctor, according to people familiar). Some are on the health records group, helping develop the company’s software to aggregate patient medical information and store it securely, and others are doing research and development work. There’s also been a recent spate of hires into Apple’s AC Wellness primary care group, which treats employees near its headquarters. Some of these folks come from Crossover Health, which Apple contracts with to provide health care to employees in other locations.

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