Last November, CEO Tim Cook said the consumer electronics giant doesn’t want its Apple Watch to go through the FDA, but teased that another medical product could be in the works. That appears to be the case, as recent personnel moves mirror an early 2014 hiring spree that brought a clutch of medical device folks aboard. Later that year the company introduced its Apple Watch, which included health and fitness features.
According to BuzzFeed News, Apple posted a pair of job listings last month and this month seeking biomedical engineers with backgrounds in “medical, health, wellness and/or fitness sensors, devices, and applications.”
One job, requiring a “good understanding of non-invasive sensors used to measure biological signals,” lists responsibilities including developing “prototype hardware for physiological measurement applications.” For the other position, Apple is seeking someone with experience in designing studies to test “physiological measurement devices.” A third listing seeks a lab tech with experience in biomedical or hardware engineering and health-related sensor technologies, according to the website, and another is looking for a project manager for “human studies research.”
And a review of LinkedIn postings shows that Apple has lured at least 2 workers away from medical device companies, the website reported. They include biomed engineers Jay Mung (from Medtronic (NYSE:MDT)) and Anne Shelchuk (Zonare Medical Systems). Craig Slyfield, a mechanical engineer with expertise in 3D imaging for orthopedics, jumped ship from TaylorMade, the Adidas golf division, and system design engineer Nathan Clark left KLA-Tencor. Another biomed engineer, Jennifer Hillier, who left the University of California, San Francisco, and Seton Medical Center listed her job description at Apple as ” top secret,” according to BuzzFeed.
Back in the spring of 2014, a handful of mHealth experts took jobs at Apple, including former Masimo (NSDQ:MASI) chief medical officer Michael O’Reilly. Nancy Dougherty, formerly involved with transdermal drug delivery devices and wearable vital signs monitoring at Sano Intelligence; Ravi Narasimhan, who worked with personal vital signs monitoring at Vital Connect; Nima Ferdosi, an embedded systems expert who also worked at Vital Connect; and Marcelo Lamego, chief technology officer at Cercacor, a former Masimo subsidiary still run by Masimo CEO Joe Kiani.