Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is rumored to be building a team of medical technology professionals to work on its upcoming smart watch, dubbed the “iWatch,” according to a new report, which also stated that the company is considering a full-blown health and fitness ecosystem, based on its App Store.
Apple has been aggressively hiring experts in biomedicine, medical professionals and hardware experts over the past year; however, the exact number of hires is not clear, Reuters reported, adding that much of the hiring is in senior technology. According to the report, Apple’s move indicates that the company could be focusing on “monitoring everything from blood-sugar levels to nutrition, beyond the fitness-oriented devices now on the market.”
The report said Apple is under pressure to deliver on CEO Tim Cook’s promise of releasing new product categories in 2014. Since the iPad release in 2010, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant has not introduced any new type of products.
The Reuters report also quoted a mobile health executive who said that Apple is looking beyond the iWatch and other wearable devices and is considering “a full health and fitness services platform modeled on its Apps store.”
Similar to the App Store, the new platform is expected to allow companies to develop their own mobile medical applications that could support the iWatch.
According to Reuters, a LinkedIn search showed Masimo Corp.'s (NASDAQ:MASI) Chief Medical Officer Michael O'Reilly; Cercacor Chief Technology Officer Marcelo Lamego; Vital Connect's Ravi Narasimhan, vice president of biosensor technology; and Nima Ferdosi, an embedded sensors expert, as among the biomedical professionals who have moved over to Apple.
“Some of the talent (Apple recruited) has access to deep wells of trade secrets and information,” Joe Kiani, chief executive officer of medical device firm Masimo Corp, which lost its chief medical officer to Apple in 2013, told Reuters. “They are just buying people. I just hope Apple is not doing what we're doing.”
Rumors are rife that Apple is likely to introduce a new application called “Healthbook” with iOS 8 to aggregate health and fitness data from a variety of sources.
However, considering the fact that Apple’s services such as the App Store, iTunes Store and iBook Store had always been an ecosystem vs. a mere application store, it is likely that the company’s rumored health and fitness service would not be limited to the Healthbook app only, iDownloadBlog reported.