As Apple’s Vice President of Health, Sumbul Desai, MD oversees the tech giant’s health initiatives ranging from clinical partnerships to medical research and clinical product development.
In a recent “Second Life” podcast, Dr. Desai shares some of her insights from leading Apple’s health department during the COVID-19 pandemic and how she values a holistic approach to healthcare by finding a balance between the physical, mental and social needs of the individual.
Three findings from Dr. Desai:
1. Before Dr. Desai joined Apple, where he was vice chairman of strategy and innovation at Stanford Medicine and associate CMO at Stanford Healthcare. She credits medicine and the idea of holistic health which led her to join Apple.
“Occupational therapists, physiotherapists and doctors [sparked] my love for medicine, “she said.[When] Medicine comes together, it’s so multidisciplinary. And that’s what [is] amazing about my work today; [it is] multidisciplinary work when it comes together. It’s like an orchestra and a symphony. ”
2. At Apple, Dr. Desai partnerships with the medical community. She cited Apple’s collaboration with Stanford Medicine and the University of Nebraska as key examples of the mutual interactions between the healthcare technology company. During the pandemic, Apple worked with both healthcare systems to develop screening apps that will help doctors and patients monitor their symptoms and determine if they should be tested for the virus.
3. While the past year has been challenging and “heartbreaking for so many countries around the world,” said Dr. Desai said Apple employees did some of the best work in the company during this time.
“This is where Apple is best when all the teams come together and focus on the work and do a great job helping people,” she said. “From the moment this all started, we at Apple wanted to find ways to help. And what was really impressive is that employees across the company have found ways to help, no matter the culture of our company. “
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