Apple ($AAPL) is notoriously secretive. Little is known about the company's plans for entering the device world, but an inspection of the company's recent hiring patterns once again makes clear that the company does have med tech ambitions. It also sheds light on what exactly they might be.
The company is looking for an optical sensing engineer, fitness software engineering manager, biocompatibility of wearables manager and others to work on its HealthKit data collection app and more, BuzzFeed points out.
And the company continues to nab top talent from established device players, according to the publication's inspection of LinkedIn. Recent hires include biomedical engineer Jay Mung, formerly in charge of algorithm development at Medtronic ($MDT). His Ph.D. dissertation is entitled "Ultrasound-based Localization System for Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair."
There's also Anne Shelchuk, who left ultrasound company Zonare in November, as well as product development engineer Craig Slyfield, who previously studied 3-D imaging and osteoporosis, according to his profile. Meanwhile new system design engineer Nathan Clark has a patent for a continuous flow chamber device that separates cells.
|A depiction of the Apple ring from the patent application--Courtesy of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.|
The trend towards hiring bright med tech minds is not a new one. FierceMedicalDevices found 14 current or former Apple employees in the Medical Devices and FDA LinkedIn group, including former members of companies such as Becton Dickinson ($BDX). Several Apple alumni have gone on to work in other med tech positions, as well, profiles show.
Health data collection apps ResearchKit and HealthKit are the clearest manifestation of the company's desire to grab a share of the med tech pie. The company's more ambitious plans to make the Apple Watch a med tech gadget were thwarted by FDA regulations and engineering challenges, though it does possess a heart rate monitor and is a platform for third-party health and fitness apps.
Besides hiring patterns, patent documents are another way to gain insights into Apple's med tech plans. One revealed that Apple is developing a ring computing device. Worn on the finger, the gizmo may someday house technology that includes biometric sensors for monitoring cardiac rhythm and perspiration.
- read the BuzzFeed story