Apple adds rising star with background in FDA approvals & product testing to medical team


Apple has added Divya Nag, a rising star in the medical device community, to its in-house medical technology team, according to sources with knowledge of the hire. Nag made her entry into the medical technology world earlier this decade by co-founding Stem Cell Theranostics, a company that focuses on technologies for testing new medicines for the market and how the drugs will affect patients. Nag also participated in the Stanford-based StartX, an “accelerator” for medical technology-focused startups. Nag was just recently recognized for her many accomplishments in the medical and science fields with the Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 award.

Nag recently gave a “TED-style” talk about her work in the medical field (above). Her website also details many of her accomplishments and published research articles in the science and healthcare realms.

On the surface, in comparison to Apple’s other recent medical industry hires, Nag’s expertise does not seem immediately applicable to future Apple hardware or software. However, a key line from her LinkedIn profile indicates why Nag could be critical to helping Apple fulfill its ambitions of reinventing health software to hardware medical appliances:

Through StartX Med, Divya has operationally and strategically helped over 35 medical technology companies create product roadmaps, gain FDA approval, launch pilots with big provider networks like Stanford Hospital and MD Anderson, fundraise (over $100 Million in aggregate), and secure partnerships with top 10 pharmaceutical companies like Merck, Genentech and Johnson & Johnson.

With experience in managing product launches, gaining FDA approval, and partnering up with existing healthcare industry behemoths, Nag could be the key to Apple being able to launch devices such as the iWatch and Healthbook software that could track the likes of blood sugar, pulse, sleep patterns, and blood pressure. Apple has previously met with the FDA on multiple occasions to discuss upcoming “Mobile Medical Applications.” Members from Apple’s executive team, such as Senior Vice President Jeff Williams, and medical experts such as Michael O’Reilly have represented Apple in these meetings. With her expertise, it is likely that Nag, too, will be talking to the FDA.

Nag’s experience in medical product testing could also be valuable to the testing process for Apple’s future medical products. Apple job listings indicate that the Cupertino-company has been seeking engineers experienced in designing and executing tests of health-oriented products. 


Over the past couple of years, Apple has hired several other medical experts, including former Nike FuelBand advisor Jay Blahnik and several experts experienced in building sensors to map veins and analyze blood data. While Apple has made these hires, there is no clear indication as to exactly when or what Apple will launch in the medical space. We understand that Apple has been working on a wrist-worn wearable device that will have medical-tracking features, and a recent analyst report says that such a device will arrive later this year. Apple has also been working on iOS 8 with the Healthbook fitness and health tracking application.

Both Apple and Nag have been contacted with requests for comment on the matter.

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  1. Goodbye, Android.

  2. Luis Alejandro Masanti - 9 years ago

    Maybe it was in Isaacson’s bio or in any of the many articles about Steve, but somewhere the story was that during hospital’s time, Steve was ‘redesigning’ the apparatus used in medical care.

    Maybe, Apple is not only going into ‘wearable’ fitness/healthcare products…

    (Steve said that he found the solution to the TV problem… maybe he also found some solution to the healthcare problem too!)

    Maybe there are too many maybe in the comment!

    • rettun1 - 9 years ago

      I wouldn’t be shocked if they got some inspiration to go into the medical device field because of Steve. They want to make sure everybody lives better (healthier).

      I think this is the very beginning of a big area apple will hone in on: health/biotechnology

      • o0smoothies0o - 9 years ago

        It’s a big area because it is the future, and Apple can make it theirs. This is why the incompetent people that think the iWatch is a watch or that it is going to be a failure, need not offer up their idiotic opinions. This is the future and Apple is going to start it just as they did with many other things.

      • Hussam (@ohmkasha) - 9 years ago

        It wouldn’t surprise me if Apple gets into developing medical-grade devices in the future, going beyond consumer wearable tech. iWatch is only the start.

      • robertvarga79 - 9 years ago

        If they don’t become Umbrella Corp. :-)

  3. o0smoothies0o - 9 years ago

    Mark we need more iWatch leaks man!!!

  4. Thomas Jack Ford - 9 years ago

    Does anyone else get a Umbrella feeling from this?

  5. zBrain (@joeregular) - 9 years ago

    with all these hirings… the rumor that it would cost “thousands” does make the rumor plausible.

    and i was really only hoping it would be an accessory.

    • o0smoothies0o - 9 years ago

      Why would you want an accessory? Smart watches are all accessories right now, and they all unapologetically miss the point and the opportunity they are inherently given, being something that is worn nearly constantly. That of course is biometric tracking, every single other feature isn’t worth developing a smart watch for, and while they will likely be a part of Apple’s, they are in no way, the point of the device.

      • zBrain (@joeregular) - 9 years ago

        first off, i don’t want to wear a “watch”. and i do not have “thousands” of dollars for a “watch”. ;-)

  6. rogifan - 9 years ago

    I’m sure Steve thought anything and everything outside of Apple products was poorly designed. I doubt that means much. But when Jony Ive is asked about “iWatch” and calls it a “game of chess” I take that to mean Apple has something different than a Gear/Moto 360 type device up their sleeve.

    • o0smoothies0o - 9 years ago

      Yes. Those look so dated. Sorry but a true smart watch should look futuristic, not just futuristic software slapped on a design as old as wristwatches. I don’t believe apples will look anything like a normal wristwatch, frankly it’s stupid in my opinion. The Moto looks embarrassing and it’s functionality certainly is. The iWatch will be something that is constantly useful, not something that is only useful when your phone is in your pocket or you don’t want to pull it out of your pocket….

  7. nicequal (@nicequal) - 9 years ago

    This is excellent reporting. THANK YOU.

  8. It’s pretty obvious that Steve started working on a way to prevent others from suffering his same fate. We all this technology, but we’ve not used it to prolong our lives through monitoring our own health. This is what was held back from the biography that will be revealed once the technology is out there. Steve gave Tim one dying wish, “Don’t let this happen to others.” What we’re about to see is revolutionary in its own right, but it’s nothing to what we’re going to see in just a few years from now. This is partly why Apple doesn’t seem so concerned with their shrinking marketshare, because that’s all about to change. People’s lives are going to be saved, because of Steve’s death. It’s almost Messianic.

    • herb02135go - 9 years ago

      Wow. That pretty bold.
      Too bad his life (and his vision) didn’t include some humanity.
      Throwing around phrases like “going nuclear” or “holy war”.

      You can appreciate the products but it’s sickening to elevate him to superhuman status.

  9. Jack Gnasty - 9 years ago

    Another medical/health hire…. they must be developing a watch! Derp…