“Apple Inc is building a team of senior medical technology executives, raising hackles in the biotechnology community and offering a hint of what the iPhone maker may be planning for its widely expected iWatch and other wearable technology,” Christina Farr reports for Reuters. “Over the past year, Apple has snapped up at least half a dozen prominent experts in biomedicine, according to LinkedIn profile changes. One prominent researcher moved two weeks ago, and Apple is recruiting other medical professionals and hardware experts, although the number of hires is not clear, said two people familiar with the hiring, who declined to be named.”
“Much of the hiring is in sensor technology, an area Chief Executive Tim Cook singled out last year as primed “to explode.” Industry insiders say the moves telegraph a vision of monitoring everything from blood-sugar levels to nutrition, beyond the fitness-oriented devices now on the market,” Farr reports. “‘This is a very specific play in the bio-sensing space,’ said Malay Gandhi, chief strategy officer at Rock Health, a San Francisco venture capital firm that has backed prominent wearable-tech startups, such as Augmedix and Spire. He was aware of several of the moves.”
“One mobile health executive, who asked not to be named, told Reuters he recently sat down with an Apple executive from the iWatch team. He said the company has aspirations beyond wearable devices, and is considering a full health and fitness services platform modeled on its apps store,” Farr reports. “Apple also has witnessed rivals trying, and failing, to produce devices that reach a mass market. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch was panned by critics and consumer reviews have been tepid at best.”
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