Apple VP of health discusses company’s focus on wellness and fitness features in new interview

Over the past several years, Apple has released a ton of wellness and fitness features that reach beyond its wearable Apple Watch platform. In a new interview, Apple VP of Health, Dr. Sumbul Desai discussed how the tech giant creates health-related features and services to empower users by giving them information about their health.

Apple’s VP of health Dr. Sumbul Desai

Dr. Sumbul Desai says Apple has a responsibility to help empower users with information about their health

In an interview with Rene Ritchie, Dr. Desai discussed the importance of the leadership at Apple fully supporting innovation in health. She also discussed the company’s process of designing and testing health features. Dr. Desai said one of the things Apple is focused on is changing the perception of health past the notion that it is restricted to sickness and wellness and fitness is thought about when individuals are doing well.

“One really important goal is how do we bring those two together, bring those worlds together, and really focus, think about your health as just holistically staying healthy, and empowering you to be the best version of you, to be healthy. And able to use use our devices in really unique ways, potentially to partner with an individual to keep them healthy is something that we’re really, I’ve been really excited about and intrigued by.” The VP goes on to say the company’s employees “almost feel like we have a responsibility to help individuals empower themselves with more information about their health so they can be their best versions of them, and live their healthier life.”

Along with Health and Apple Watch features, Dr. Desai discusses the introduction of Focus Mode in iOS 15 and helping users use their devices intentionally as “a form of health.” She also brings up Screen Time as an example as it helps with mental health by ensuring users are not attached to their devices.

The interview also discusses the process of Apple’s engineers and designers working closely with subject-matter experts and clinicians. “We have subject matter experts, we have clinicians, who are really involved in the product development process but we work really closely side by side with our engineering colleagues and design colleagues,” Dr. Desai said.

On the development of features, Dr. Desai explains the idea can come from anywhere. Then the teams discuss the feasibility of an idea before moving on to testing. In addition to internal experts, teams also work closely with external experts such as determining what doctors would do with the information gathered by a certain feature.

On the topic of privacy, the VP said, “We allow the user to have granular control to decide what they’re going to share with the person they’re choosing to share with, so we really want to put the user at the center to be able to make decisions”. 

The interview ends with Dr. Desari saying “Health is something that is so precious to many of us and there’s so much more to do, and so we really take it day by day, listen to our customers, try to really use the science, and drive towards the goal of really having an impact on an individual’s life.”

Check out the full interview down below:

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.