Apple Launches New Hiring Spree for Biomedical Engineers

Echoing similar reports from last year, the Cupertino, CA-based tech giant is hiring biomedical R&D engineers and other medical experts to work in its health technology division.

Brian Buntz

Apple Watch

Shown above is an unofficial rendering of the Apple Watch 2.

Here we go again. Apple is rumored to be working on another big health-related project, based on a recent uptick in hirings of biomedical engineers. Apple has posted at least four job postings for its health technology unit. One of those postings was for a "biomedical R&D engineer, health technology." The posting asks for candidates with a "good understanding of non-invasive sensors used to measure biological signals." The persona hired for the post will work to build "prototype hardware for physiological measurement applications," as first reported by BuzzFeed.

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Just today, an Apple job listing appeared for a biomedical studies engineer, health technology who will "join a cross-functional team to help drive feasibility of health, wellness, and fitness sensors, systems, and applications." The candidate should have a degree in biomedical engineering, human physiology, or a similar discipline.

Most of the listings for its health technology division mention that the candidates will help develop devices to measure physiological signs. Since late last year, at least five people with medical research or product development have begun working at Apple, according to Buzzfeed.

Examples of new Apple hires include Anne Shelchuk, PhD, a biomedical engineer has worked for St. Jude Medical and ultrasound software firm Zonare Medical Systems. In addition, there's also Craig Slyfield, PhD, a mechanical engineer who has studied visualizing human bones in 3-D. In addition, Apple has hired Jay Mung as a biomedical engineer from Medtronic. Finally, Apple has hired Jennifer Hillier, a former exercise physiologist at University of California, San Francisco who has experience with vital signs monitoring.

The company is also seeking to employ a project manager for "human studies research."

While Apple has stated that it has no plans of obtaining FDA clearance for the Apple Watch itself, in an interview last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that the company was open to obtaining FDA clearance for a Apple Watch-related project. "I wouldn't mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long. But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it -- maybe an app, maybe something else," Cook told The Telegraph.

An Apple Watch 2 is expected to debut sometime in 2016.

In 2014, Apple had a similar hiring spree for biomedical engineers and recruited some medical device professionals in the process. This helped fuel rumors that the Apple Watch would be a full-fledged medical device, which ultimately didn't pan out when that device debuts.

Learn more about cutting-edge medical devices at MD&M West, February 9-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. 

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