Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has hired MIT researcher Eric Winokour, in its wearables team, who will join in a couple of weeks ahead, says a report from MacRumors citing a source. The report noted that Winokour does research at MIT’s Medical Electronic Devices realization Center and recently worked on an ear-worn “wearable vital signs monitor.”
On his LinkedIn page, the researcher mentioned one of his specialties to be “wearable medical device R&D.”
Winkour has, also, done various research papers, which are focused on cardiovascular ear-worn devices that track vital signs. His published two papers, in 2012, one titled “An ear-worn continuous ballistocardiogram (BCG) sensor for cardiovascular monitoring” and the other one “A wearable vital signs monitor at the ear for continuous heart rate and pulse transit time measurements.” Ballistocardiography is used for measuring the movement of blood into major vessels with each heart beat.
In both the papers, Winokour has described about an ear-worn device that is designed to track the vital signs with the help of a triaxial accelerometer. The devices appear similar to a hearing aid, and are wirelessly connected with a PC to record an analyze data.
In a 2011 interview with ABC, the MIT researcher stated the benefits of the medical device that he was working on saying that it could be worn in the ear all day for tracking the blood pressure and heart rate.
“The goal is to have this worn, basically throughout the day,” Winokur told, at that time.
How could Apple use Winkour
Winokour looks a potential candidate for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as the iPhone maker is apparently planning to launch EarPods headphones, which would be equipped with the technology of tracking heart rate and blood pressure. Though there is no official word from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), patent applications filed by the company have revealed its interest in pairing biometric sensors into headphones, previously.
It is not yet established if Winokour would keep on working in the field of ear-worn monitoring devices at Apple or will be more focused on wearables in general, such as the iWatch. However, it is highly unlikely that Winokour would be involved in the company’s upcoming devices this year, but he might play a vital role in the health and wearable area.