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Reports US

US stock market daily report (May 05, 2014, Monday)

May 5, 2014, Monday, 21:48 GMT | 16:48 EST | 02:18 IST | 04:48 SGT
Contributed by Millennium Traders

Apple Inc. (AAPL-Nasdaq) has registered the trademark "iWatch" in Japan and filed a patent in February for a smart earbud patent that could track steps and detect gestures of the head. Several Apple patents appear to lean toward wrist-worn devices per hints from the biotechnology community. Rumors indicate that Apple has ordered the production of nearly 4 million units of the iWatch for Q2 and that the device will hit the market during the second half of 2014. Cook and Apple are under pressure to follow through with the promise of new product lines for the year. The last new type of product from Apple was the iPad in 2010.

Per reports, over the past 12 months, Apple has locked onto nearly a half dozen prominent experts in biomedicine, as the tech giant appears to be building a team of senior medical technology executives, medical professionals and hardware experts. Of the new hires, Apple appears to be focusing on recruiting engineers with experience in monitoring the body's perimeters. Apple has reportedly poached biomedical engineers from companies including Masimo Corp, O2 MedTech, Sano Intelligence and Vital Connect. Masimo is best known for its pulse oximetry device, which non-invasively measures patients' oxygen saturation, an indicator of respiratory function. O2 Med Tech is experimenting with biosensors and developing new devices. Vital Connect is focused on tracking vitals such as heart rate and body temperature. Recent new hires for Apple for the iWatch project include Alexander Chan, former biomedical engineer at Vital Connect; Nancy Dougherty, hardware expert from Sano Intelligence, a wearable sensor firm; Nima Ferdosi, an embedded sensors expert; Marcelo Lamego, Cercacor chief technology officer; Divya Nag, founder of StartX Med, a Stanford-affiliated startup accelerator; Ravi Narasimhan, Vital Connect's vice president of biosensor technology; Michael O'Reilly, Masimo chief medical officer and Todd Whitehurst, vice president at Senseonics Inc, a glucose monitoring product firm. Those poached by Apply have access to enormous amounts of trade secrets from former firms.

During 2013, Chief Executive Tim Cook singled out 'sensor technology' as primed "to explode" as part of the move was made to increase hiring in the field. Industry insiders are heard to be saying that the move by Apple telegraphs a vision of monitoring everything from blood-sugar levels to nutrition, well beyond fitness-oriented worn devices already on the market. A mobile health executive was to have said that during a recent meeting with an executive from the iWatch team, Apple has aspirations beyond wearable devices and is considering a full health and fitness services platform modeled on its apps store.

Joe Kiani, chief executive officer of Masimo Corp, who lost his chief medical officer to Apple in mid-2013 said the tech giant was offering sizeable salaries with little indication of what researchers would be doing. Kiani said, "They are just buying people. I just hope Apple is not doing what we're doing."

In January, executives from Apple met with senior officials at the Food and Drug Administration, including Bakul Patel who drafted the FDA's final guidance for mobile health. The FDA announced the focus on regulating applications that attempt to turn a smartphone into a medical device or that are intended to be used as an accessory to a regulated medical device, during the end of 2013.