Big Silicon Valley companies have often competed for talent with specialized skills, like expertise in artificial intelligence or trendy new programming languages.
Now they're competing for heart doctors.
Apple hired Dr. Alexis Beatty, a cardiologist, to its growing health team in July, according to a LinkedIn search. Amazon hired Dr. Maulik Majmudar, also a cardiologist, the following month. Alphabet's life sciences company Verily named Dr. Jessica Mega as its chief medical officer almost three years ago. Mega, of course, is a cardiologist.
This might just be a coincidence. Cardiologists tend to be well educated and hard working, and big tech companies have a track record of recruiting such people.
In recent years, all of these companies have started to invest in products and devices that are targeted to millions of people who could benefit by tracking their heart health.
Apple's smartwatch now includes an electrocardiogram, which can detect heart rhythm irregularities. Verily's study watch, which is designed for clinical trial research, also tracks heart rate and heart rhythm, and it's doing a lot of work in chronic disease management. Another Alphabet team, Google Fit, worked closely with the American Heart Association for its design revamp. Amazon's plans in cardiology are less clear, but the company does have a secretive research and development team that is working on a variety of health projects under the leadership of an electrical engineer — former Google X employee Babak Parviz.
So the more likely explanation is that tech companies are interested in health care, and they have all come to the conclusion that cardiology should be an early (if not initial) target.