Meet Incredible Innovator and Apple's Vice President of Health, Sumbul Desai


(Image credit: Courtesy of Sumbul Desai)

Welcome to Second Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode gives you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or anywhere you get your podcasts to stay tuned.

Health and wellness came to the forefront of everyone's minds over the last year as priorities shifted and total-body health became of utmost importance. At the helm of innovative health research was Sumbul Desai, MD, the vice president of health at Apple. At the highly revered multinational tech company, Desai helps oversee health initiatives, including clinical product development, innovative clinical partnerships, and medical research, which means she plays an integral role in our daily wellness journeys. She is a key player behind the new iPhone and Apple Watch features, like those released in the latest iOS 15, such as health sharing and monitoring walking steadiness. It's Desai's unique philosophy on holistic health that has made her an industry standout. "Occupational therapists, physical therapists, and doctors [sparked] my love for medicine. [When] medicine comes together, it's so multidisciplinary. And that's what [is] amazing about my work today; [it is] multidisciplinary work when it [all] comes together. It's like an orchestra and a symphony," Desai explains to us on Second Life.

During the trying time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Desai helped lead Apple's response efforts and support for the vaccine. As the vaccines began to roll out, Desai and her team at Apple navigated the efforts around education by releasing helpful content that connected customers with experts for optimal support.

As Desai's work at Apple is nothing short of impressive, it should come as no surprise that prior to her time there, she spent six years as the vice chair of strategy and innovation at Stanford Medicine and was the associate chief medical officer at Stanford Healthcare. And before entering the world of health and medicine, Desai actually worked in business strategy at The Walt Disney Company and news production at ABC News. Tune in to the latest episode of Second Life to hear how Desai's past careers inspired her to become a real innovator making a major impact on the world's health.

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Freelance Editor