Microsoft taps former Samsung executive David Rhew as new chief medical officer

Microsoft has been tapping healthcare technology leaders at rival tech companies to add to its roster and deepen its healthcare expertise. (Microsoft)

After spending the last six years leading Samsung's healthcare efforts, including showcasing the use of virtual reality in healthcare, David Rhew, M.D., is moving over to Microsoft.

Rhew will serve as the tech giant's new chief medical officer and vice president of healthcare for its worldwide commercial business.

As the healthcare industry transforms with cloud and artificial intelligence technology innovations, Rhew’s understanding of healthcare delivery and operations across physical and digital realms will elevate Microsoft’s ability to enable its commercial healthcare customers and partners, Deb Cupp, corporate vice president, enterprise commercial for Microsoft Enterprise, wrote in a blog post.

Rhew also serves as an adjunct professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is a computer scientist who holds multiple U.S. patents related to clinical decision support systems and the interoperability and integration of data in electronic health records, according to Microsoft.

“Data are quickly becoming the new currency in healthcare. Organizations that create value through secure storage, clinical interpretation, and the seamless exchange of data between patients and providers are emerging as the new leaders. Microsoft is positioned to lead in this capacity. I am honored to be a part of the team that builds and grows this business," Rhew said in a statement.

RELATED: Microsoft's Peter Lee, Greg Moore on the role of tech giants in healthcare

David Rhew, M.D. (Microsoft)

At Samsung, Rhew served as CMO and vice president for enterprise healthcare where he worked with clinical and software partners to develop a number of new digital health technologies. At Samsung, he led efforts to explore the use of virtual reality technology as a tool for easing pain and anxiety and to improve healthcare.

Last year, Samsung announced a partnership with Travelers Insurance, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Bayer and AppliedVR centered around using virtual reality for pain management. 

At the 2018 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference, Samsung demonstrated several use cases for therapeutic VR using its technology, such as remote monitoring and wearable solutions for seniors and patients living with chronic conditions.

Microsoft has been tapping healthcare technology leaders at rival tech companies to add to its roster and deepen its healthcare expertise. In April, Greg Moore, M.D., a former Google Cloud executive, moved over to Microsoft as the new corporate vice president for health technology and alliances. A neuroradiologist by training and a medical researcher, Moore had served as a senior healthcare leader at Google Cloud for two years.

RELATED: Apple healthcare researcher jumps to Gates Foundation to lead new digital health work: CNBC

Considered a digital health thought leader, Rhew has been a driving force behind the development, validation and deployment of digital health solutions recognized by global organizations such as the Consumer Technology Association and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, according to Microsoft.

As CMO for Microsoft Worldwide Commercial Business, Rhew will provide executive-level support, engaging in business opportunities with customers and partners, the company said.

"With his cross-discipline expertise and his keen ability to engage, listen, and collaborate, David’s work with our customer and partners will ensure our commercial healthcare business delivers the right technologies and capabilities to reimagine the industry," Cupp said in the blog post.