Apple has hired Toronto healthcare doctor Mike Evans “to help chart the future of family medicine” at the company, although the specifics of his role have not been disclosed (via CBC).
Evans was said to catch Apple’s attention through a series of videos he’s posted on his YouTube channel, called DocMikeEvans, where he narrates discussions about health and mindfulness topics over cartoon characters.
Evans previously held a position as a staff physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and is said to already have started his “digital health care work” at Apple. For the time being, he plans to communicate between his home of Toronto and Cupertino, while his son finishes high school. Apple had already approached Evans about a position at the company, which he turned down the first time, but said he eventually was won over by the company’s messaging.
“I think why they are engaging me is the messaging,” Evans told Matt Galloway on CBC’s Metro Morning on Monday. “We’re searching for consistency, not perfection.”
“It’s exciting. It’s a bit nauseating and anxiety-provoking. We love Toronto but it’s a chance to live another chapter of our lives somewhere else. I’m super-excited.”
Evans’ hiring also aligns with Apple’s recent push into healthcare initiatives, especially with the doctor’s beliefs on how technology can help with the treatment of sick individuals. Eventually, he sees a future where apps are “prescribed” to help guide patients through their prescription routine, diagnosis, and even diet, so as to balance out how little doctors see each patient throughout the year.
“What happens now is I see you. Let’s say you have high blood pressure. I prescribe you a pill for that. I see you two or three times a year,” he said.
“In future, I’ll prescribe you an app. One of our whiteboards will drop in and explain what high blood pressure is. The phone will be bluetoothed to the cap of your pills. I’ll nudge you towards a low salt diet. All of these things will all happen in your phone. I see you two or three days a year. The phone sees you everyday.”
It’s easy to see how his ideas could potentially fit into Apple’s HealthKit platform, bolstered by apps on both the iPhone and even Apple Watch. Apple is continually trying to push itself to help customers live healthier lives, which it’s begun to do through company acquisitions, new advertisements, and the announcement of the fitness-focused Apple Watch Series 2. Earlier in the year, CEO Tim Cook discussed Apple’s push into the “next frontiers,” including health initiatives, on Mad Money.
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