Apple has added Divya Nag, a rising star in the medical device community, to its in-house medical technology team, according to sources with knowledge of the hire. Nag made her entry into the medical technology world earlier this decade by co-founding Stem Cell Theranostics, a company that focuses on technologies for testing new medicines for the market and how the drugs will affect patients. Nag also participated in the Stanford-based StartX, an “accelerator” for medical technology-focused startups. Nag was just recently recognized for her many accomplishments in the medical and science fields with the Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 award.
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Nag recently gave a “TED-style” talk about her work in the medical field (above). Her website also details many of her accomplishments and published research articles in the science and healthcare realms.
On the surface, in comparison to Apple’s other recent medical industry hires, Nag’s expertise does not seem immediately applicable to future Apple hardware or software. However, a key line from her LinkedIn profile indicates why Nag could be critical to helping Apple fulfill its ambitions of reinventing health software to hardware medical appliances:
Through StartX Med, Divya has operationally and strategically helped over 35 medical technology companies create product roadmaps, gain FDA approval, launch pilots with big provider networks like Stanford Hospital and MD Anderson, fundraise (over $100 Million in aggregate), and secure partnerships with top 10 pharmaceutical companies like Merck, Genentech and Johnson & Johnson.
With experience in managing product launches, gaining FDA approval, and partnering up with existing healthcare industry behemoths, Nag could be the key to Apple being able to launch devices such as the iWatch and Healthbook software that could track the likes of blood sugar, pulse, sleep patterns, and blood pressure. Apple has previously met with the FDA on multiple occasions to discuss upcoming “Mobile Medical Applications.” Members from Apple’s executive team, such as Senior Vice President Jeff Williams, and medical experts such as Michael O’Reilly have represented Apple in these meetings. With her expertise, it is likely that Nag, too, will be talking to the FDA.
Nag’s experience in medical product testing could also be valuable to the testing process for Apple’s future medical products. Apple job listings indicate that the Cupertino-company has been seeking engineers experienced in designing and executing tests of health-oriented products.
Over the past couple of years, Apple has hired several other medical experts, including former Nike FuelBand advisor Jay Blahnik and several experts experienced in building sensors to map veins and analyze blood data. While Apple has made these hires, there is no clear indication as to exactly when or what Apple will launch in the medical space. We understand that Apple has been working on a wrist-worn wearable device that will have medical-tracking features, and a recent analyst report says that such a device will arrive later this year. Apple has also been working on iOS 8 with the Healthbook fitness and health tracking application.
Both Apple and Nag have been contacted with requests for comment on the matter.