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.
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."
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.