News Feature | February 18, 2014

Apple Hires Biosensor Experts, Developing Device To Predict Heart Attacks?

By Joel Lindsey

As the field of wearable medical devices continues to grow, many are closely monitoring the progress of the heavily touted Apple iWatch as a possible gauge of this burgeoning market.

Reports have recently surfaced that identify a string of influential experts in the wearable devices field who have all been hired by Apple.

“As the rumors surrounding Apple’s mythical iWatch continue to swell, Apple has continued to hire folks with deep biomedical and sensor technology expertise,” said an article published by Network World. “How all of these hires will influence whatever new product category Apple decides to enter next remains to be seen. What we do know, however, is that Apple typically only acquires companies and hires individuals if they can have a direct influence on the company’s current or future product line.”

The report confirms that Apple has hired Marcelo Lamego, who previously helped develop Masimo’s Pronto-7 oxygen saturation and hemoglobin monitoring device, Nima Ferdosi, an algorithms architect with experience developing wearable devices and biosensor technologies, and Yuming Liu, an engineer whose previous work was focused on developing Accuvein’s portable vein scanning device.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Apple is seriously investigating sensor technology to predict heart attacks. "Led by Tomlinson Holman, a renowned audio engineer who invented THX and 10.2 surround sound, Apple is exploring ways to predict heart attacks by studying the sound blood makes at it flows through arteries," the article stated.

Wearable medical devices represent a constantly growing field of interest, as the space enjoyed great success in 2013. Many have projected significant growth for 2014.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has described the field as “ripe for exploration,” and predicts to see many more companies moving into it in the future.

“Wearable technology is, without doubt, the biggest and most exciting technology trend at the moment,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported earlier this year. “In 2013, companies showed us that these devices can actually be used to improve day-to-day life; and 2014 is shaping up to be a landmark year for wearable devices.”