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Apple's Biometrics Team Continues to Grow Amid iWatch Rumors

Apple continues to add to its team of medical and biosensor experts, with the hiring of Marcelo Lamego, the former chief technology officer of non-invasive patient monitoring company Cercacor. Lamego's recent change in employment was spotted by Network World.

marcelo_lamego-linkedin
Before joining Apple in January, Lamego spent the previous eight years as the CTO of Cercacor working on sensor-based medical technologies like those used in the Pronto-7, a portable, non-invasive device which measures hemoglobin, oxygen saturation, pulse rate and more. The Pronto-7 is sold by pulse oximetry company Masimo, from which Cercacor was spun off in the late 1990s.

Lamego worked on the Rainbow SET Technology platform used in the Pronto-7 during his time as a research scientist at Masimo, continuing that work after moving to Cercacor. Rainbow SET is described by Masimo as "a noninvasive monitoring platform enabling the assessment of multiple blood constituents and physiologic parameters that previously required invasive or complicated procedures."

pronto7
(Credit:Masimo)

It is not clear what position Lamego holds at Apple, but he is one of many recent biomedical and sensor research scientists who are now employed by Apple. These new hires allegedly were recruited to join Apple's iWatch team, which according to MobiHealthnews, has grown to include 200 employees. Lamego isn't the first Apple hire to come from Masimo either. Last year, Apple also added Michael O'Reilly, M.D., former Chief Medical Officer and EVP of Medical Affairs at Masimo, to its ranks.

Network World's report also highlights several other health-related experts who are either confirmed or speculated to be working for Apple, including biosensor algorithm architect Nima Ferdosi from Vital Connect. Ferdosi's hiring late last year came around the same time that Apple hired Ravi Narasimhan from the same company. A third Vital Connect employee, biomedical engineer Alexander Chan, is alsp speculated to have joined Apple, although his LinkedIn profile lists his employer only as "technology company" in the Bay Area.

Several other health-related companies were reported to have lost employees to Apple last year, including AccuVein and C8 Medisensors. Network World has identified AccuVein engineer Yuming Liu as one of those employees and speculates that C8's Stephen Waydo may be another.

Details on the iWatch are still elusive, with contradicting reports on the features that'll make it into the launch version of the device. 9to5Mac stands behind its original report that the iWatch will be able to sense hydration and glucose levels, while MobiHealthNews claims the device will drop these advanced functions and focus on basic health parameters like exercise, diet, stress and medication scheduling.

Related roundup: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

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8 months ago
The health-related stuff is probably the coolest development in tech lately, in my opinion. It's really refreshing and cool, at least for me.
Rating: 7 Votes
8 months ago
So, the "Watch" in iWatch means that the watch watches you?
Rating: 6 Votes
8 months ago
Seems like Apple is doing what it does best. Figure out what people wants and needs than provide it. Unlike other companies, look we are first, we have a watch that doesn't do much yet. But it will as soon as Apple shows us.
Rating: 4 Votes
8 months ago

So, the "Watch" in iWatch means that the watch watches you?



[INDENT][INDENT]iWatch[/INDENT][/INDENT]

Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in Soviet Russia.
Rating: 2 Votes
8 months ago
Not wearing a grey shirt in front of a white background, eh Marcelo Lamego? Well, you will be… mark my words, you will be!
Rating: 2 Votes
8 months ago

Seems like Apple is doing what it does best. Figure out what people wants and needs than provide it. Unlike other companies, look we are first, we have a watch that doesn't do much yet. But it will as soon as Apple shows us.


People don't know what they want until you show it to them. Now who said that?
Rating: 2 Votes
8 months ago
Maybe we're missing the boat here. Story is, while Steve was terminally ill he spent his time in hospital conceptualizing better medical devices, etc.. It could be the iWatch is a red herring. Apple could be starting off into innovative medical devices. It's a massive industry. The technology & interfaces they use are comparatively medieval. A good industry to disrupt.
Rating: 2 Votes
8 months ago

Maybe we're missing the boat here. Story is, while Steve was terminally ill he spent his time in hospital conceptualizing better medical devices, etc.. It could be the iWatch is a red herring. Apple could be starting off into innovative medical devices. It's a massive industry. The technology & interfaces they use are comparatively medieval. A good industry to disrupt.


VERY good point. I've speculated that the whole iWatch thing was a ploy to get Samsung et.al. to dump lots of cash into something that will fail and cost them a bundle. It's very logical that they would also use it as a smokescreen for development. Then while the rest are trying to make a go of it selling feature watches to a public that will for the most part be unimpressed, Apple will drop something out of left field that will surprise everyone.
Rating: 1 Votes
8 months ago

The health-related stuff is probably the coolest development in tech lately, in my opinion. It's really refreshing and cool, at least for me.


As a pre-med student, I agree and am very excited to start using this technology in the not so distant future.

Though, these technologies are still insanely expensive and I think devices like this would be great for the medicine cabinet. I would love to see more non-invasive sensors, especially for blood glucose levels.
Rating: 1 Votes
8 months ago

I'm very stoked for this technology. I thought that my diabetes was well under control because of the meds I take and so I've gotten kind of sloppy with how I eat and I don't check my blood sugar very often.

So my last labs were six months ago and this week I found out that my A1C had gone from a 5.7 to a 5.9. That's just at the tip of the normal range, and not dangerous yet, but if I was getting readings on a regular basis I might have detected this trend early and skipped a few jelly doughnuts.:D


That's actually a great range! I test about ~20/day, my A1C is 5.5-5.9, highest I ever had was 6.1. I've been diabetic since 12, now 37, and pushing myself everyday to stay in shape.

There was a patent on using infrared tech for BG testing, and the 5+ year study showed no indiscernible result differences when compared to traditional bg testing. The issue, companies would lose billions in test strip sales, and just like alternative fuel vehicle engines, the devices and patents were buried.

A good friend worked as a researcher for J&J then Merck, now a project manager. Pharm companies usually throw 10% of their budget into R&D for cures and the rest for treatment research. There's far more money in test strips, glucose meters, insulin, syringes, not to mention medications to treat complications in older age diabetics that inevitably occur no matter how well you take care of yourself.

Money talks...
Rating: 1 Votes

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