Apple has hired Duke’s Dr. Ricky Bloomfield, one of the early proponents of both HealthKit and ResearchKit, for its health team, according to MobiHealthNews. The hiring was first announced by Dr. Bloomfield’s colleague on Twitter and confirmed by Apple to MobiHealthNews.
As Duke’s Director of Mobile Strategy, Dr. Bloomfield helped Duke become one of the first hospitals to integrate HealthKit. Bloomfield has spoken about the benefits of HealthKit multiple times, like at 2014’s mHealth Summit and announcing at a MobiHealthNews event that Apple was adding support for Health Level 7 Continuity of Care Document to iOS 10.
Bloomfield, who created Autism Beyond, also helped Duke embrace ResearchKit, creating a study intended to find out how autism starts in children. The study uses an app that utilizes the iPhones camera to record children’s reactions to short videos. The app analyzes the recordings and sends the data back to doctors to help tune the algorithm, with the goal to eventually let the app help parents screen children for autism, anxiety, or similar conditions.
The new hire is just one of several for Apple’s health team recently. In September, Apple hired Toronto doctor Mike Evans “to help chart the future of family medicine.” Evans also has a popular YouTube channel, DocMikeEvans, where he narrates discussions about health over cartoon drawings. Apple has also hired Stanford doctor Rajiv B. Kumar, who has experience using HealthKit to help patients with diabetes, and Dr. Stephen Friend, who helped build the data infrastructure for many ResearchKit apps.
While Bloomfield will work on Apple’s health team, it’s unclear what his role could entail.
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