Several Apple Health employees, including a 24-year veteran of the company, have been hired away by insurance giant Anthem.
The hirings come at a time when insurers are changing their offerings to embrace Silicon Valley’s digital health initiatives.
“In the past few months, Anthem has hired Warris Bokhari from Apple Health, as well as Toni Trujillo Vian (a 24-year Apple vet), and senior machine learning researcher Stefanos Giampanis, according to LinkedIn and two people familiar with the matter.
The health insurer also hired Ted Goldstein, a former Apple vice president from 2002 to 2007, to run its AI and health data efforts, about six months ago, and some lower-level folks like Berick Bacani, a former Apple operations specialist, as a UX designer on the digital team.”
This isn’t the first time Anthem has hired away Apple employees. Anthem’s current VP of commercial Aneesh Kumar started out as a product manager at Apple. Anthem has also hired Udi Manber, who previously worked at Google, as a technical advisor.
Growing its health team
Over the past several years, Apple has been steadily ramping up its number of medical hires. This coincides with the debut of the Apple Watch, which has since ramped up its focus on being a health device. Steve Jobs’ health issues are also said to have had a big impact on Apple’s interest in health.
CNBC notes that Apple currently has, “installed dozens of doctors to offer advice and steer product decisions.” Along with Apple Watch, one of the big focuses is on aggregating clinical information via Health Records, in addition to health apps for iOS.
Tim Cook has previously said that he believes Apple’s health initiatives may wind up being its “greatest contribution to mankind.” The health team reports to Apple’s COO Jeff Williams. Williams has a “strong personal interest in the sector.”