Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is on a hiring spree, not for its smartphone segment, but for some secret medical device. The iPhone maker is growing its medical devices research team, and most recently it hired Michael O’Reilly, former chief medical officer and executive vice president of medical affairs at pulse oximeter firm Masimo Corporation.

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iWatch may have advanced health monitoring features

The news that O’Reilly is joining Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) comes from health blog MobiHealthNews, however, the former Masimo executive’s LinkedIn page has no such update. A report from MacRumors got a confirmation from Masimo that O’Reilly has changed jobs.

Masimo told MacRumors it “could not dispute” what had been reported.

As of now, there has been no information available why Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is hiring medical executives, but Masimo’s recent product releases might give us some idea on the objective behind the hiring. In 2012, the medical firm launched an iPhone-compatible pulse oximeter, which allows users to measure pulse accurately by monitoring oxygen saturation in the blood stream. On the same lines, one could look forward for advanced health monitoring features in the rumored Apple iWatch. There have been devices with similar features like Withings’ Pulse fitness tracker, so something similar might be expected.

Michael O’Reilly is an anesthesiologist, who according to his LinkedIn profile is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Michigan and the University of California at Irvine. His profile also shows that his employment with Masimo Corporation ended in July 2013.

Hirings by Apple so far

In last two years or so, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reportedly made many hires for its medical research team. Some of them are mentioned below:

According to the health blog, Jay Blahnik is also working with Apple. The well-known fitness consultant has worked on Nike’s FuelBand.

Nancy Dougherty prior to joining Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the hardware lead at transdermal medication delivery startup Sano. Before Sano, she worked for over two years at Proteus.

Apple also hired Ravi Narasimhan, who previously was the VP of research and development at health sensor company Vital Connect. Ravi holds numerous patents related to health sensors.

Last year, Director of Optics & Systems Engineering at C8 MediSensors, Ueyn Block joined Apple as the technical lead of optical sensing.

Former Vice President of Product Development at Senseonics, Todd Whitehurst joined Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as the director of hardware development.