Job listing offers glimpse at advanced medical research being conducted by Apple

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited February 2015
With the launch of the health- and fitness-focused Apple Watch fast approaching, Apple continues to bolster its internal research teams focused on analyzing the human body, representing a new and different direction for the tech giant.


Siemens Biograph TruePoint PET-CT scanner, via Flickr user "Thirteen Of Clubs."


This week, Apple posted an interesting job listing for a "Human Factors Anthropometry Engineer/Researcher," discovered by AppleInsider. Anthropometry is the study of measurements and proportions of the human body, covering a wide range of subjects from body dimensions and weight to ergonomics, comfort and posture.

While it's unknown exactly what purpose the position will serve, it's very likely related to Apple's push into health, fitness, and biometrics being led by the latest iPhones, the new Health app in iOS 8, and the forthcoming Apple Watch. In particular, the advertisement for the position makes note that the candidate will work in biometric analysis, referring to technologies that use aspects of the human body to securely identify a person.

The job listing seeks a candidate with experience using 3D scanning equipment, motion capture and more. The position will require the person to collect, document and analyze anthropometric and biometric measurements.




Apple's interest makes sense with its newfound direction into the wearable devices market. With an integrated heart rate sensor, accelerometer and more, the Apple Watch will be able to give users advanced feedback about their own health and fitness as they wear it throughout the day.

As for biometrics, Apple securely identifies users with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor found on its latest iPhones and iPads. But the Apple Watch could certainly present new opportunities for biometric security in the future.

Leading up to last fall's unveiling of the Apple Watch, the company went on a hiring spree related to fitness and medicine, with a particular interest in medical research.

For example, the company hired renowned sleep researcher Dr. Roy J.E.M. Raymann, an expert in sleep patterns and rest efficiency. The company also made key hires from makers of biometric sensors related to blood oxygen saturation, blood glucose levels, respiration, temperature, and more -- well beyond just basic heart rate monitoring and motion tracking.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51

    This is the next big thing. A $3 trillion industry (20% of GDP), in just the US.

     

    Education will be the final frontier.

  • Reply 2 of 51

    No way!  Apple is getting into the medical industry???/s

  • Reply 3 of 51
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    This is the Next Big Thing. A $3 trillion industry (20% of GDP), in just the US.

     

    Education will be the final frontier.


    You almost make it sound like a fad by including the word 'Next'. But I agree it is and will be huge. In addition to improving people's health the goal, one would hope, is to bring healthcare costs down. 

  • Reply 4 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post

     

    You almost make it sound like a fad by including the word 'Next'. But I agree it is and will be huge. In addition to improving people's health the goal, one would hope, is to bring healthcare costs down. 




    It's the NeXT Big Thing. :)

  • Reply 5 of 51
    If you think the Apple Watch is the only wearable fitness product the company will release, you're dead wrong.
  • Reply 6 of 51
    It's a stretch to conflate "Human Factors Anthropometry" and "Advanced Medical Research". If they're really the same, then I'm doing advanced medical research every morning when I step on the bathroom scale and sigh.

    It makes perfect sense that, as Apple devices get more intimate, Apple has a better understanding of the ergonomics.

    If we are on the cusp of something new here, it's the potential widespread adoption of simple devices to monitor things we've been able to measure for a century, and aggregate that data en-mass. There's a lot to learn from the "big data" view of simple measurements.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    I think we could be close to a major change in health care. Instead of going to the doctor or hospital when something has gone wrong, for some health issues our health can be regularly monitored and potential problems identified and dealt with at a very early stage. Less cost and less pain.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member

    I find this direction really fascinating. There is a lot of improvement needed in the medical side of tech. Great for consumers and health and great for Apple. 

  • Reply 9 of 51
    paxman wrote: »
     
    You almost make it sound like a fad by including the word 'Next'. But I agree it is and will be huge. In addition to improving people's health the goal, one would hope, is to bring healthcare costs down. 

    Yeah, I agree that the capitalization was a bit cheesy. (And by 'next' I meant 'next for Apple').

    Fixed.
  • Reply 10 of 51

    Now that Cook's getting old and is frightened of dying, I guess we'll see more and more of a health kick, like the Apple Watch and R and D.

     

    Ho hum.

  • Reply 11 of 51
    chadmatic wrote: »
    No way!  Apple is getting into the medical industry???/s

    It's possible they just want diversity in employment backgrounds. A little left-brain, a little right-brain.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    Now that Cook's getting old and is frightened of dying, I guess we'll see more and more of a health kick, like the Apple Watch and R and D.

    Ho hum.

    As opposed to what?
  • Reply 13 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zelmung View Post



    If you think the Apple Watch is the only wearable fitness product the company will release, you're dead wrong.

     

    I really hope there's something different... soon.

  • Reply 14 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    Now that Cook's getting old and is frightened of dying, I guess we'll see more and more of a health kick, like the Apple Watch and R and D.



    Ho hum.




    As opposed to what?

     

     

    Something more interesting.

  • Reply 15 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    This is the next big thing. A $3 trillion industry (20% of GDP), in just the US.

     

    Education will be the final frontier.


     

    Health management and care is going to take tremendous strides in the next 100 years, imho.

     

    The idea of chemicals and surgery will become a thing of the past.

     

    Looking at today's operating room in 2115 will be even more antiquated looking than the way we look at the operating room of 1915... again, imho.

     

    Apple Inc. will probably break off into divisions.

  • Reply 16 of 51
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member

    The headline talks about advanced medical research, but the article actually makes it sound more like biometrics for user identification. 

     

    The most immediate utility of this would be that your Mac or iDevice unlocks when it recognizes you by sight. Add in touchID and you've got a very user-friendly two-factor identification. 

  • Reply 17 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    This is the next big thing. A $3 trillion industry (20% of GDP), in just the US.

     

    Education will be the final frontier.


     

    Health management and care is going to take tremendous strides in the next 100 years, imho.

     

    The idea of chemicals and surgery will become a thing of the past.

     

    Looking at today's operating room in 2115 will be even more antiquated looking than the way we look at the operating room of 1915... again, imho.

     

    Apple Inc. will probably break off into divisions.


     

     

    And looking at 2115's operating room in 2215 will be even more antiquated looking than the way we look at the operating room of 2015.

     

    Good game, this.

  • Reply 18 of 51

    Apple Inc. will probably break off into divisions.

    On that topic, I predict that in five years' time, Apple splits up into the iPhone versus the rest -- or iOS versus the rest -- companies.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     

     

     

    Something more interesting.








    More interesting than saving lives and making a boatload of money doing so? When it comes to quality of life,  I don't think there is anything more interesting than something that could help. ...other than making a boatload of  money doing so rather

  • Reply 20 of 51
    yojimbo007yojimbo007 Posts: 1,143member
    It could also be research in ergonomics for automobiles ....
    Anthropometry does not equal to medicine .
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