Apple has sparked rumours that advanced health-monitoring technology will be at the heart of the iWatch, after hiring two medical tech professionals this year.
The Cupertino tech giant poached Nancy Dougherty from Sano Intelligence where she was in charge of hardware development. Ravi Narsimshan joins from Vital Connect, where his remit was vice president of research and development of medical devices.
Sano’s work in the field includes the creation of a patch that is capable of painlessly conducting blood tests and analysing the results for glucose levels. This is, of course, something of a boon for diabetics.
Narshmshan's research involved creating biosensors that are capable of monitoring respiration and skin temperature. It’s thought these can even detect falls, so would be ideal as a means of tracking the well-being of elderly users.
With evidence mounting for some time that fitness apps will be front and centre for the iWatch, the latest round of hires suggests that general health monitoring will also be one of its core features.
However, Apple’s move, which would appear to confirm that new features are still being added to the iWatch, also strongly indicates to us that the device remains a long way from being market-ready. Or it may be that the health-monitoring features could be intended for a future generation iWatch.
News of developments with the smartwatch come after reports suggest Apple is encountering serious manufacturing problems, particularly with the screen and the battery.