Recent Departures and Internal Disagreements Highlight Tension Within Apple’s Health Team: CNBC

There might be growing trouble in the Apple health team, if a new report is to be believed.

CNBC explains that the Cupertino company has seen a number of high-profile departures from its heath-focused team in recent months, after a series of internal disagreements about direction and leadership changes:

Tension has been increasing in the health care team in recent months, according to eight people familiar with the situation, although that undercurrent started several years ago. Some employees have become disillusioned with the group’s culture, where some have thrived while others feel sidelined and unable to move their ideas forward. Four of the eight noted that some employees hoped to tackle bigger challenges with the health care system, such as medical devices, telemedicine and health payments. Instead the focus has been on features geared to a broad population of healthy users.

Over the past few years, Apple has made health and health-focused features an increasingly important business segment, introducing features such as Apple Health, ECG features for the Apple Watch, and the Apple Heart Study. As iPhone sales have hit the brakes recently, Apple has focused more on Apple Watch-related health features. Apple CEO Tim Cook has even said that its health-related features will be the company’s “greatest contribution to mankind.”

While it’s unknown if Apple employees are leaving its health team more rapidly than other groups at the company, the amount of tension highlights how tech companies frequently encounter issues in the health care sector, explains the report.

“Ambitious employees in the field are anxious to tackle the biggest problems in the health care system,” reads the report. “But that does not always fit in with the more incremental and measured product approach of large tech companies. In addition, health care is notoriously complex and slow compared with other areas of technology.”

CNBC explains that one of Apple’s issues within its healthcare team is a cohesive long-term vision. Four of CNBC´s sources claim that Apple isn’t ambitious enough in its healthcare-related ventures. They complain that Apple is focused primarily on wellness and prevention rather than actual medical applications.

In response, Apple has seen a number of notable departures in its health team recently:

Christine Eun, who worked at Apple for almost eight years and has a background in marketing and left this month, according to two people; Brian Ellis, who left the the team overseeing AC Wellness, a subsidiary that operates health clinics for Apple employees, and went back to Apple Music in June; and Matt Krey, who left Apple in May and is taking time to focus on his family, according to LinkedIn.

The report also contains a number of details regarding the current structure of Apple’s healthcare team and be read in its entirely over at CNBC.