Two key members of the Apple team working on the iWatch/iBand (or your favorite “i” + wearable nickname) have confirmed their new jobs at Apple via their LinkedIn profiles. Jay Blahnik, formally a key advisor on the Nike FuelBand project and a world-renowned fitness expert, joined at Apple in July of 2013. Divya Nag, a rising star in the medical research world with experience in FDA approvals, joined Apple in April 2014.
Blahnik’s experience in the fitness and gym-related technology products would be a major strategic benefit for Apple’s wearable device plans. Blahnik also notes on his website that he has consulted for Apple in the past, so perhaps this adds some weight to the rumblings we have heard about him working at Apple in recent months.
Apple has added Divya Nag, a rising star in the medical device community, to its in-house medical technology team, according to sources with knowledge of the hire. Nag made her entry into the medical technology world earlier this decade by co-founding Stem Cell Theranostics, a company that focuses on technologies for testing new medicines for the market and how the drugs will affect patients. Nag also participated in the Stanford-based StartX, an “accelerator” for medical technology-focused startups. Nag was just recently recognized for her many accomplishments in the medical and science fields with the Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 award.
Both Blahnik and Nag list their roles at Apple as within the Special Projects group. Sources say that Blahnik is working on fitness matters related to HealthKit and the upcoming Apple wearable device while reporting to Apple Senior VP of Operations Jeff Williams. Nag, sources say, is working under Dr. Michael O’Reilly (another recent Apple hire) on health-related projects, and she is also working with governments on product approvals. In recent years, Apple has also hired several high-level fashion industry experts, developers of glucose sensors, experts in sleep analysis, engineers with wearable hardware development experience, and scientists with knowledge of non-invasive vein mapping.
We’re likely to begin seeing the fruits of all of these hires by October, the month in which Apple currently plans to debut its long-awaited fitness and health-oriented wearable device.