Apple Hires Chief Medical Officer From Pulse Oximetry Company Masimo, Possibly for iWatch Team

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Over the course of the last year, Apple has made several hires from the medical and sensor field, presumably to bolster the team of experts working on its much-rumored smart watch project, and MacRumors today learned of another high-profile sensor expert that has joined the company.

    Michael O'Reilly, M.D., formerly the Chief Medical Officer and EVP of Medical Affairs at Masimo Corporation, left his position in July of 2013 to take on a role at Apple, possibly on the iWatch team. News of O'Reilly's employment at Apple was first leaked to MobiHealthNews last week and when contacted for comment earlier today, Masimo told MacRumors it "could not dispute" what had been reported.

    While O'Reilly was at Masimo, the company developed several cutting edge pulse oximetry devices, including the iSpO2 Pulse Oximeter that connects to the iPhone and gives readings via an accompanying app. The iSpO2, which takes its readings from a finger, is designed to measure both oxygen saturation in the blood and pulse rate, with technology that allows it to take readings during movement and with low blood flow.

    The iSpO2 Pulse Oximeter for iPhone
    While it is not clear what position O'Reilly holds with Apple or how his pulse oximetry expertise will be used by the company, he does join a number of other hires in the medical field that have reportedly been recruited for the iWatch team. In 2013, Apple hired several scientists and executives from notable sensor companies like AccuVein, C8 MediSensors, and Senseonics, and two weeks ago, another report pointed to two additional hires in the sensor field.

    Reports have suggested that Apple's smart watch project, the iWatch, could focus heavily on health sensors and biometrics, possibly including features like a pedometer and a heart rate monitor. Apple's multitude of hires in the health field does suggest, however, that the company could include even more advanced sensor technology in the iWatch or in a future product.

    With the addition of O'Reilly, Apple has now hired employees with expertise in pulse oximetry, vasculature visualization (vein finding), non-invasive glucose monitoring, blood chemistry monitoring via microneedle, heart/breath rate monitoring, and fitness. Notably, several hires have also had experience with low-profile, non-invasive biosensor devices.

    On his LinkedIn page, O'Reilly is also listed as both an Adjunct Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan and a Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care at the University of California, Irvine.

    Article Link: Apple Hires Chief Medical Officer From Pulse Oximetry Company Masimo, Possibly for iWatch Team
  2. Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    damn! this iwatch is going to be a mobile hospital!
  3. macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2011
    San Francisco, California
    Now that it's 2014 and within a timeframe for an iWatch, this is going to start getting exciting! :)
  4. macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
  5. macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2013
    it seems that the watch is not nearly as close to being finished as i would have hoped. if they are still hiring people for sensors they can't possibly be finished with the design or testing of the watch. hopefully they speed things up! :apple:
  6. macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2010
    Note though that the hire was supposedly made last July….
  7. macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    Good reporting Macrumors !!

    this mythical iWatch is getting more and more interesting for sure.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2011
    The only thing I don't understand is whether or not this will be stand-alone device or not.

    If it is, it will require sim card, bluetooth, GPS, etc...

    If it is not, it will require an iPhone at all times.

    It it's a stand-along, it would be awesome for fitness activities with a built in pedometer, heart-rate monitor, blood pressure monitor, etc..... and maybe paired with some awesome Apple bluetooth headphones and we would have a winning device.
  9. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    The only thing? Nobody knows any thing.


    Just wait till you see the prostate exam app!
  10. macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2009
    With every iWatch rumor seems there are less people complaining "who needs a watch!?" ....when looking at current so called smart watches I have to agree that they are not impressive at all, I have a pebble collecting dust somewhere that I wasted few $ on thru kickstarter....I have good hopes for this upcoming apple watch if not first gen then 2nd.
  11. macrumors 68000

    Dec 24, 2001
    Carson City, NV
    My guess is that the "iWatch" will be usable standalone, but better paired with an iDevice (more data acquisition, display). The "iWatch" could probably read pulse off of the wrist, but a pulse oximeter would have to read it off a finger tip, so I would expect a blue tooth LE connection.

    If the iWatch has a good range of sensors available at launch, it will be a very desirable device for athletes and persons with medical issues, and connection to an iDevice would give it the ability to upload the sensor data to a physician.

    I would buy an "iWatch" for this capability.

    (by standalone, I don't mean a WiFi or Cellular connection; just data capture and display.)
  12. macrumors 68040

    Jun 12, 2005
    If there's a way to get pulse ox through the arm skin, I'm in. But as far as I know the only pulse ox you can get through direct skin is the earlobe because the skin is way too thin there.

    If they figure out a way to get your pulse ox while you are walking, jogging, through this watch thingy, that'll be amazing for fitness. LG showed off some earphones that gets your pulse ox from the ear.
  13. macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2009
    I hope it doest require a probe :eek:
  14. macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    would be interesting to see the strap on the iwatch take your pulse.
  15. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2011
    I have a feeling it will be. And probably one of the reasons Apple hasn't released anything yet. They want something that can be stand alone, does more than the existing "smart" watches do and has decent battery life. I'm prepared to wait for that. I certainly won't pay hundreds of dollars for a dumb device that requires a BT connection to my phone and has crap battery life.
  16. macrumors 68040


    Feb 12, 2010
    I hope people can understand the potential of this product by now.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2009
    I hope they make a stand-alone band version I could wear on my other wrist. I have a small collection of watches already and wear one everyday.
  18. macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2011
    Getting more and more interesting!

    I wonder what kind of purpose they see this device serving.
    I don't suppose they think checking pulses and collecting simple statistics like that are enough, there's gotta be something more disruptive about the device to warrant a brand new product.

    Time will tell...
  19. macrumors regular


    At last, the penny has dropped for the watchers.

    The iWatch may well have some form of simple monitoring, but I reckon Apple is going much further into the medical field.

    Already iPads are used extensively in hospitals for displaying scan and x-ray results. Integrated medical systems could be the next big field for Apple, just as instrumentation was for Hewlett-Packard in the 1960s. Could stray into Agilent's backyard.

  20. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Let's put it this way: It will put the "i" in iWatch.


    I suspect you are onto something This is why I thought Apple might make a play for the remnants of Kodak, with their medical imaging products and patents.
  21. macrumors regular

    Aug 12, 2013
    Yeah, the sad part is that people still don't. 'Watches are useless'. Good thing Apple actually has intelligent, imaginative people working for them, as opposed to the people who can't even think past 'It tells time'.
  22. sully54, Jan 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014

    macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2012
    This thing is sounding more and more like a Star Trek medical tricorder.

    If all of these medical related acquisitions relate to the iwatch, then it's real smart of apple to carve a niche for the product because it creates a specific purpose for the device. Many don't need a watch anymore because their smartphone tells time, and no one certainly needs a smartwatch in a conventional sense because a small display isn't the best way to view your content. I'm sure apple's iwatch will do things like show iMessages, etc. but it would just be secondary to being a health monitoring device first. It seems apple isn't just out to turn a smartphone into a watch, which is what some companies have decided to do. No, apple's iwatch seems more than that.
  23. macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2011
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2004
    sweet, a $150 pulse ox to implement into my iwatch...all medical tech is way overpriced.
  25. macrumors 68030


    Mar 25, 2011
    It will likely include EMR in the future.

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