Medical Hires Hint at Wearable Apple Fitness Gear

Apple has turned to the medical community for several of its recent hires, hinting that at least part of its wearable technology plans include fitness tracking. The most recent hire was Michael O'Reilly MD who previously worked for Masimo Corporation as the company's Chief Medical Officer.

Recent hires show Apple is serious about fitness techRecent hires show Apple is serious about fitness tech

Dr. O'Reilly, according to mobihealthnews, is an anesthesiologist who has taught at the University of California and University of Michigan, and he isn't a stranger to the world of iPhone accessory development. Masimo launched the iSpO2, a pulse-enabled oximeter add-on for the iPhone, at the end of 2012.

Along with Dr. O'Reilly, Apple has also hired other health and fitness professionals over the past couple years. That list includes Jay Blahnik who helped design the Nike FuelBand, Ravi Narasimhan who serverd as vice president of research at Vital Connect, Nancy Dougherty who was in charge of hardware at the transdermal medicin delivery company Sano, Ueyn Block who was director of optics and systems engineering at C8 MediSensors, and Todd Whitehurst who worked at Senseonics as vice president of product development.

With that team on board, Apple has experts in wearable fitness tracking hardware, Bluetooth-based vital tracking sensors, pulse and blood oxygen level sensing, optical sensing, and glucose level monitoring.

Apple doesn't do anything by accident, especially when it comes to hiring talent for product development, and stringing together the company's new employees puts together a pretty compelling push into wearable tech, and specifically into wearable health and fitness tracking devices.

In addition to its crack health and medical team, Apple has also hired Paul Deneve -- a former Apple employee who also served as an executive at Yves St Laurent -- and Ben Shaffer, a fabric design expert who previously worked at Nike on special projects including wearable technology.

Heading up the team is most likely Bob Mansfield, the man that previously ran Apple's hardware design division and now reports to CEO Tim Cook on special projects. Apple isn't saying what those special projects are, but considering who the company has been hiring, it's a safe bet everyone designing smartwatches, as well as companies that specialize if health and fitness tracking, are about to see some serious competition from Cupertino.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]