New Apple Hire Fuels Health-Monitoring iWatch Rumors
Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest hire has bolstered rumors that the iPhone maker is developing an iWatch with health-monitoring features. As recently uncovered by NetworkWorld, Apple hired Marcelo Lamego, a medical sensor expert, last month. According to his LinkedIn profile page, Lamego last worked as the CTO for Cercacor, a California-based medical device company that specializes in non-invasive health-monitoring technologies. As noted by NetworkWorld, the Stanford-educated doctor led Cercacor’s efforts to develop the Pronto-7, a non-invasive medical device that can detect a patient’s hemoglobin levels, pulse rate, blood oxygen saturation levels, and perfusion index.
The hiring of Lamego appears to further substantiate the rumors that Apple is developing a wearable tech device that will include multiple health-monitoring features. Lamego’s hiring follows the recent news that several Apple executives met with officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December to discuss “Mobile Medical Applications.” The meeting included medical sensor expert Michael O’Reilly, another recent Apple hire who previously worked for a company that developed an iPhone-enabled pulse oximeter.
Although rumors of an Apple “smart watch” have been circulating since at least 2012, it wasn’t until last summer that the first evidence of a health-related iWatch began to emerge. As noted by Apple Insider, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo first suggested last May that Apple’s iWatch would feature biometric functionalities that would enable health-monitoring features. A few weeks later, well-connected Apple watcher Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac cited insider sources that reported that the Cupertino-based company had assembled a wearable tech product development team with medical sensor experts from companies like AccuVein, C8 MediSensors, and Senseonics.