According to a report from Fortune and her LinkedIn profile, Apple has recently hired former Nest executive and co-founder of Google X Yoky Matsuoka. At Nest, Matsuoka was the head of technology. According to the report, Matsuoka is joining Apple to help with its health initiatives, including ResearchKit, HealthKit, and CareKit. Matsuoka will report to chief operating officer Jeff Williams who oversees all of the company’s health projects.
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Matsuoka joined Google to help start the Google X lab in 2009, but left shortly thereafter in 2010 to go to Alphabet subsidiary Nest and be the company’s head of technology. Coincidentally, Nest co-founder Matt Rogers was a fellow classmate of Matsuoka at Carnegie Mellon.
Matsuoka left Nest in 2015, however, and was initially planning to work at Twitter before being diagnosed with undisclosed life-threatening illness. The treatments, however, were successful and Matsuoka said that she was given “another chance at life” in a post on Medium last year. “When you get another chance at life, there’s an opportunity to start from scratch and I feel so lucky to have this,” she wrote at the time.
Matsuoka holds a Ph.D. from MIT, which is also where she helped develop a revolutionary robotic arm called the BarrettHand. She’s long had an interest in robots having founded the University of Washington’s Neurotics Laboratory prior to joining Nest. At the University of Washington she worked on building a robot-human system.
Matsuoka has updated her LinkedIn profile to reflect that she is now working at Apple, although she doesn’t specify her specific role aside from that she will be working on health initiatives.
Apple has had a growing interest in health products over recent years. Just last month the company launched CareKit. CareKit allows users to collect medical data that can be shared with physician as to better keep track of symptoms and long-term health. That platform launched with four apps, but Apple says that more will come as time progresses. CareKit joins HealthKit and ResearchKit in Apple’s lineup of health platforms.