Priya Abani will take up the digital health company's top role on Monday, while interim CEO Ira Bahr will shift to the COO position.

AliveCor snags Amazon Alexa vet for its vacant CEO position

By Dave Muoio
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After months of treading water, mobile ECG maker AliveCor has finally named its new CEO: Priya Abani, who up until this point led the Alexa Voice Service for Amazon.

Abani’s three years at Amazon as general manager for devices and enablement saw her spearheading integration efforts to integrate voice assistant with Amazon’s various connected services, as well as leading its product, engineering, technical enablement and developer experience teams.

Prior to this she spent nearly eight years at Intel as a senior director handling customer engagement and solutions integration, according to her LinkedIn profile.

"I am honored to join AliveCor at this pivotal time where healthcare and AI are converging to give people more information and control of their cardiac care," Abani said in a statement. "AliveCor team has not only built a trusted and globally known consumer business via their personal ECG devices, but they have also struck a chord with physicians and medical professionals by building a secure and powerful technology platform that is poised well for expansion and growth.”

Abani’s first day on the job will be Monday, when she’ll be taking over from Ira Bahr, who held the interim CEO position since the beginning of the year and is now shifting to a COO role. These moves are also joined by the election of Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, as chairman of the digital health company’s board of directors.

WHY IT MATTERS

AliveCor’s single- and six-lead smartphone ECGs and artificial intelligence-based reading interpretation products straddle the line between a consumer health product and a tool for professionals. Abani comes to the company as something of a health industry outsider, but her background in tech development and integration could serve as a major asset to AliveCor as it looks to embed its service among both demographics.

"AliveCor is a perfect expression of the successful application of AI technologies in healthcare,” Khosla said in a statement. “Our new CEO brings a wealth of directly applicable expertise in development, enablement and commercialization of these technologies.”

THE LARGER TREND

AliveCor’s prior CEO Vic Gundotra stepped down from the startup’s top role back in January, but it’d be hard to paint the company as completely rudderless when looking at its past few months.

March and April saw 510(k) clearances for the company’s KardiaAI, a tool that allows KardiaMobile and KardiaStation users to see clear indications of arrythmias when detected by the platform’s algorithm. Then in May, AliveCor’s finally secured a clearance for its long-teased six-lead ECG device, which consumers can now purchase for $149.