Apple researcher Andrew Trister leaves for Gates Foundation

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Dr. Andrew Trister, a prominent Apple Health researcher, has left Apple to take on a the role of deputy director of health innovation at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Trister was the subject of recent news, as one of several researchers who contributed to the Eli Lilly dementia study that sought to determine whether or not the iPhone and Apple Watch would be able to detect early signs of dementia. AppleInsider noted Trister's departure from Apple in its coverage of the study.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Trister worked as a clinical researcher at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a senior physician at Sage Bionetworks, and as a radiation oncologist at the University of Washington prior to joining Apple.

Trister has not publicly announced the move to The Gates Foundation, but confirmed it in an interview with CNBC. Trister was one of the first to be recruited to Apple's health team in 2016, along with Stephen Friend, who departed Apple in late 2017.

Trister's interests lie in smartphone technologies, focusing on virtual consultations, maternal health, portable diagnostic tools, artificial intelligence, and technologies for health workers. According to the interview, he is interested in both for-profit and nonprofit ventures.

"We're looking to help both consumers and community health workers globally, as we see smartphones playing an increasingly important role," he said.

Trister will take on the role of deputy director of digital health innovation at the Gates Foundation, with a focus on bringing burgeoning health technology from the U.S. to the developing world. There is also intention to invest in companies working in under-resourced regions, including rural African and Indian communities.

He has not said whether or not he'll continue research into dementia monitoring while at The Gates Foundation, but is interested in furthering the research.