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Apple's Hiring Spree of Biosensor Experts Continues As iWatch Team Grows 62

An anonymous reader writes "As the rumors surrounding Apple's mythical iWatch continue to swell, Apple has continued to hire folks with deep biomedical and sensor technology expertise. A previously unreported addition to Apple's growing cadre of medical device experts is Marcelo Malini Lamego, who began working at Apple this January. Before joining Apple this past January, Lamego spent 8 years as the CTO of Cercacor, a medical devices company with a focus on developing noninvasive monitoring technologies."
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Apple's Hiring Spree of Biosensor Experts Continues As iWatch Team Grows

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  • by oscrivellodds ( 1124383 ) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @02:49PM (#46260693)

    I can't see going after the market for fitness buffs because there just aren't enough of them who care about heart rates, etc. Everyone who goes to the gym isn't training for a triathlon.

    I CAN see going after the chronically ill. That is a huge piece of the US/world population. If you could monitor things like blood sugar, heart rate/rhythm, blood pressure, blood oxygen/CO2 levels,etc., and detect anomalies and sound alarms this thing could be huge. I suppose all the fitness stuff would be a subset of this capability, so you'd get the fitness nuts and the ill with one device.

    Knowing Apple, it will probably only work with iTunes, the worst POS software since Windows...

    • by psergiu ( 67614 )

      If it can monitor blood sugar level non-invasively and continuously and can make a iPhone/iPad/Mac do something on set thresholds, i am buying one for my mom, no matter the cost.

      I wish you all to never have to witness first-hand a loved one almost dying from an accidental insulin overdose.

    • I can't see going after the market for fitness buffs because there just aren't enough of them who care about heart rates, etc.

      Yet. Don't forget marketing can make people want a facility they hadn't thought about before.

      I don't think they'll go after the chronically ill specifically. I think they'll go for the people that want to be fit, and the people who are concerned about staying healthy. And they'll do that offering the kinds of measurements you mention.

      Knowing Apple, it will probably only work with iTunes, the worst POS software since Windows...

      It's been a few years since iOS devices have required iTunes. They can do updates, sync, backup, purchase software and media etc online without ever being connected to iTunes.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Knowing Apple, it will probably only work with iTunes, the worst POS software since Windows...

      You clearly haven't used Samsung Kies .

      • Nobody has to use Samsung Kies.

        Most Android users don't even know it exists.

        iTunes is no longer mandatory to use an iOS device, but it used to be. Kies is outright obscure.

        • by dkf ( 304284 )

          Nobody has to use Samsung Kies.

          Obscure or not, it's still a good counterexample to iTunes being "the worst POS software since Windows". Alas. It's also hardly unique. There are times when I hate this industry.

        • Nobody has to use Samsung Kies.

          And nobody has to use iTunes. But many people do use iTunes, because unlike Kies it isn't a piece of shit.

    • Knowing Apple, it will probably only work with iTunes, the worst POS software since Windows...

      I'd go further than that. No iTunes compatibility at all. Requires an iPhone.

    • by Bogtha ( 906264 )

      It's Apple. If they use their normal strategy, the product they release will not have every feature that everybody wants. It's going to have 80% of the features that 80% of people want, but done in a very nice way. There will be fitness features, but they will be aimed at the average slob who keeps telling himself he needs to get fitter, not experts. Fitness buffs will complain that it doesn't do X, but they'll end up using it anyway because it's convenient because lots of other things will start integ

  • by rapjr ( 732628 ) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @03:10PM (#46260847)
    Doing medical sensing, making sure the data is accurate, especially in a mobile setting where the sensors are subject to movement, and understanding what the data means (mostly only astronauts have ever been subject to continuous medical sensing) are not easy. If they are just hiring experts now it will be a year or more before they have even a basic handle on the issues involved. If they want something FDA certified with data that can be easily digested by doctors it will take at least several years to bring a product to market. If they are just building another fitness device they probably already have it working. Possibly they'll try to position some medical-like sensing as non-medical so they don't have to get FDA certified and can avoid liability by claiming the device and apps are not intended for any medical/health purpose.
  • The iWatch is intended solely for the use of the NSA.

    Why else would they call it that?
  • Privacy regulations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by failedlogic ( 627314 ) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @04:01PM (#46261125)

    There are all kinds of biosensors available that don't connect to the Internet. An Apple device presumably will.

    There is enough concern with the amount of information being collected with an iPhone. Consumers should be cautious about providing their personal health info with Apple. I would only hope whatever information is stored on Apple servers, it is regulated like other HIPAA info. At the least, if Apple needs to be HIPAA compliant and information is breached, big fines and other penalties will/should follow.

    • Next up: AppleCare Health Insurances (*)

      (*) only people in the intended target population can apply; your iWatch can tell you;
      the rest can find themselves another insurance company.

    • This assumes that they will actually store any of it on their servers. It wouldn't surprise me if the information stayed only on the device or your computer if you wanted to sync with it. If it were Google making this device one would probably assume that, yes, they would be collecting the data and analyzing it in order to sell advertisements, but Apple generally seems content to no bother with your data as they seem content to make their money selling people $100 worth of parts and components for $300.
  • Disclaimer: I am an Apple product user. I like my iPhone 5. However, I tried and could not like iOS 7 (my primary iPhone is still on 6, and I'll stick with it for as long as possible), and admittedly for a few years I felt about my iDevices about the same as anything else - they serve the purpose, annoy me sometimes, whatever. Mildly ambivalent.

    At the same time, I wasn't too excited about wearable computing. Watch-like devices that came out so far seemed to be trying the form factor without actually having

  • You've fallen in love... you get ads for valentines. You're hungry... you get coupons for fast food. Your IPhone can have a "lie detector" app which gives you a little electric shock if you text a lame excuse. Big Brother is Won't Just Be Watching.
  • ... having worked on a whole bunch of biomedical measurements (including, but not limited to ECG, non-invasive blood pressure and SpO2) in the last 12 years.
    • Here [] is how google assembled the team for its self-driving car initiative:

      Within a few months, Page and Brin had called Thrun to green-light a driverless-car project. "They didn't even talk about budget," Thrun says. âoeThey just asked how many people I needed and how to find them. I said, 'I know exactly who they are.'"

      If this is any example, top tier companies putting together a hit squad don't look at resumes. They first make a key hire by making a can't-say-no offer to a professor at a top univ

  • I am not sure that this will catch on given that iDevices need it every day.

  • An unsubstantiated claim about an unannounced product that may or may not include functionality relative to recent biometric hires is adequate to begin a flamefest. I love watching idiots argue about nothing they are privy to. Does one HAVE to be an idiot to be in the AndroidRox Club or does it just seem to draw those kind of people?

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll