Health research Stephen Friend bids Apple adieu

Stephen Friend, a health researcher and co-founder of Sage Bionetworks, has left Apple after serving less than two years on the job to become an “independent entrepreneur,” reports CNBC. No reason was given for the departure.

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Sage Bionetworks launched in 2009 as part of Friend’s vision “to drive open science and fundamentally change the relationship between patients and their doctors.” The company has been a partner on most of the high-profile apps to come out on Apple's health-focused platforms, ResearchKit and CareKit.

Another member of Apple's health team, Anil Sethi, also left the company at the end of 2017 to work on a start-up focused on gathering health information for cancer patients.

In the past few years, Apple has recruited a team of medical experts to help guide its strategy as it moves into health care. Its team currently includes: Rajiv Kumar, a doctor who specializes in treating kids with diabetes; Divya Nag, a former biotech entrepreneur; and Mike O'Reilly, an anesthesiologist.