Apple hires medical tech experts to work on iWatch

Apple has hired two experts in the medical tech field in order to ramp up its wearable technology plans that would include a patch to measure blood as well as biosensors.

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9to5Mac reports that Nancy Dougherty from startup Sano Intelligence and Ravi Narasimhan of Vital Connect have joined to work with the team that is putting together the hardware behind the long anticipated iWatch.

Dougherty, whilst at Sano Technology, did extensive research on technology that analyses a user’s blood and has already seen the New York Times detail a prototype of a “small, painless patch” that reads and analyses a user’s blood.

“[The patch] will soon be able to monitor everything you might find on a basic metabolic panel–a blood panel that measures glucose levels, kidney function, and electrolyte balance. Already, Sano’s prototype can measure glucose and potassium levels. There are enough probes on the wireless, battery-powered chip to continuously test up to a hundred different samples, and 30 per cent to 40 per cent of today’s blood diagnostics are compatible with the device,” Dougherty stated in an earlier interview.

It’s rumoured this could easily be incorporated onto the back of the iWatch in order to measure blood levels and would offer a similar service to Google’s glucose measuring contact lens announced last week.

Narasimhan, on the other hand, was a research and development centric VP at Vital Connect and responsible for managing teams that worked extensively on biosensors. The sensors developed by the company can measure steps, skin temperature, respiratory rate, and even show when it falls, and Narasimhan comes to Apple with “40 patents granted and over 15 pending.”

Related: Could the Apple iWatch be a mere ploy?

Apple has been on a hiring binge in the past six months with prominent Nike FuelBand consultants and developers welcomed on board. Most observers expect this to mean that Apple will release some kind of smartwatch or wearable technology later this year.