Apple hires medical tech experts, fueling iWatch rumours

A smartwatch with next-generation health skills could help Apple beat rivals in the wearable technology sector


Apple has reportedly hired two medical technology experts, fueling rumours that the company’s forthcoming iWatch could have a health focus.

Nancy Dougherty from startup Sano Intelligence and Ravi Narasimhan from general medical devices firm Vital Connect both joined Apple earlier this year, according to 9to5Mac. In her former job, Dougherty was in charge of hardware development, while Narasimhan was the vice president of research and development at his previous employer.

It is thought that their combined experience could enable Apple to incorporate some innovative health features into its rumoured smartwatch, helping the company to compete in the burgeoning wearable electronics market.

Dougherty’s research at Sano Intelligence was based around the development of a patch that lets the wearer read their blood glucose levels without needing to take a blood sample. This could be very useful for anyone with diabetes who does not want to have to prick their finger multiple times a day.

Narasimhan, meanwhile, worked with biosensor technology in his former role. Vital Connect’s sensors measure vital signs such as skin temperature and respiratory rate, and can even detect falls, making them useful for monitoring elderly relatives.

Apple is not the only major tech company to be taking steps into the healthcare sector. Last year, Google teamed up with Apple’s chairman Arthur Levinson to launch a new company called Calico, which will use biotechnology to tackle major illnesses and ageing.

Last week, Google also unveiled a contact lens that monitors glucose levels in tears, helping diabetics who need insulin to keep a close watch on their blood sugar and adjust their dose.




Source : The Telegraph | January 21, 2014



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