Apple bolstering its Health Technology team with Clinical Studies specialists and Legal Counsel for Health

Apple health app for Apple Watch and iPhone

Apple has been growing its headcount over the last few years in its health and fitness focussed verticals. The recent success of its ECG, Fall detection, and other health service offerings are only a start to what we will see come to fruition over the next few years.

In a new job post which was posted this week, Apple is looking for Studies Specialists in the area of Health hardware Technologies.

A study specialist is someone who is responsible for capturing and organizing key information from health-related studies with the ability to synthesize and summarize the data for delivery to Study Project Managers and senior management.

They are critical to a company’s successful regulatory filing for new medical devices and health platforms.

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Given that this new resource is required to have knowledge of Global GCP (Good Clinical Research practice) requirements and how they apply to the execution of studies, it highlights that the new health initiatives that Apple is following are not purely wellness driven but have a clinical component and therefore must meet regulatory requirements.

Successful candidates are expected to have a degree in biomedical engineering or related engineering disciplines.

Last year, we saw a number of high profile departures from Apple’s health team and it was reported that this was a result of internal tension as the company wants to focus more on “wellness” instead of clinical health or remote health sensing applications.

Could this be changing as we move to 2021?

The health team reports to Jeff Williams, the company’s chief operating officer, who has a personal passion for the medical sector.

We have seen several new jobs posted over the last month and a half in the area of Health hardware engineering.

Some of these jobs center around optoelectronics suggesting Apple might be exploring new use cases for its optical sensors on the watch.

Or jobs that improve upon the existing sensor technology while other positions require the candidate to lead cross-functional teams including Electrical, Mechanical, Process, Reliability, and Firmware Engineering to deliver state-of-the-art sensing solutions.

The Cupertino giant is also hiring a new legal counsel focused on Health Products. This position was posted this week and requires the resource to have

  • 6+ years of strong transactional experience drafting and negotiating complex commercial, licensing, development, consulting, service, research, and clinical trials agreements in healthcare, academic, pharmaceutical, or medical device settings.

What’s coming next?

Given the success of Apple’s new M1 chip, it is very much possible that we might see new health focussed chip from Apple someday soon.

There have been some recent Apple patents that show how the company might be thinking about embedding Opto sensors directly into the chipset.

Apple’s revamped hiring in health sensing hardware and health focussed legal counsel suggests that consumers can look forward to new health offerings beyond the Fitness+ service which is scheduled to roll out before the end of this year.

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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