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Apple poaches medtech notables; speculation rife that rumored iWatch will perform medical diagnostics

Apple has hired two people with expertise in medical sensor technology, further fueling speculation that the rumored iWatch will have some medical applications, reports 9to5Mac. The new hires are Nancy Dougherty, who was in charge of hardware development at startup Sano Intelligence, and Ravi Narasimhan, former VP, R&D, at medical device company Vital Connect.

Apple has hired two people with expertise in medical sensor technology, further fueling speculation that the rumored iWatch will have some medical applications, reports 9to5Mac. The new hires are Nancy Dougherty, who was in charge of hardware development at startup Sano Intelligence, and Ravi Narasimhan, former VP, R&D, at medical device company Vital Connect.

Sano Intelligence is working on a transdermal patch that ultimately will be able to continuously monitor glucose levels among other things and wirelessly send results to a smartphone or other device. The needlefree product may be on the market as soon as mid-2014, according to Fast Company, which profiled the company in an article last year. "With the technology for reading blood able to be integrated into a small patch, it seems plausible that Apple is working to integrate such a technology into its so-called iWatch," writes Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac.

At Vital Connect, Narasimhan was involved in managing teams responsible for biosensors. The wearable technology, as described by the company, can measure steps, skin temperature, and respiratory rate, and detect falls. "These data points would be significant compliments to a wearable computer that is already analyzing blood data, speculates Gurman.

In other recent tech news with a medical bent, Google has revealed that it is developing a contact lens that monitors glucose levels in tears. Plastics play a key role in this potential breakthrough, as Doug Smock reports.

TAGS: Medical
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