It is not new that Apple is very interested in improving its health initiatives even more. One of the organizations that have helped Ma make progress in this area is Sage Bionetworks, which helped in the studies of the main ResearchKit apps: the Parkinson mPower study app (monitors Parkinson's disease) and the Breast Cancer: Share the Journey study (to share the symptoms of breast cancer).
The organisation's last contributions may have made the spotlight turn to its president and co-founder, Stephen Friend, who since last Thursday joined the Apple team as reported by Business Insider.
It has not yet been revealed what exactly Friend's role at Ma will be, but there is no doubt that his work will greatly boost the company's health initiatives. His vast experience in the field includes a large participation as an executive in the pharmaceutical company Merck and also as a member of the faculty of the prestigious Harvard Medical School (Harvard Medical School). Despite being hired by Apple, Friend did not completely depart from Sage; according to a statement from the company itself, he will still be part of the organization, but only as chairman of the board, not needing to attend every day.
The CEO of Medullan (medical assistance consulting company), Ahmed Albaiti, gave his opinion on Apple's relationship with Sage:
Sage Bionetworks is definitely a big player in Apple's health initiatives, but there is some kind of pseudo-interesting relationship between the two. Sage has a large research group focused on research and they can help Apple products, but I will not develop applications.
As Tim Cook himself has already talked about his great expectations of bringing health technology together, whatever Friend's new contributions are, Ma is sure to make the most of it to bring a better quality of life to people.