A Key Apple Health Technology Executive Has Left the Company – Bloomberg
Yoky Matsuoka, who joined Apple Inc. in May as an executive to help run health technology initiatives, has left the iPhone maker, according to people familiar with the matter.
Matsuoka was hired to lead teams involved with the companyâ€™s HealthKit tracking software, the CareKit tool for managing patient medical care, the ResearchKit framework for conducting medical studies via Apple devices, and related machine learning algorithms. Matsuoka reported to Jeff Williams, Appleâ€™s chief operating officer, who also runs the teams related to the Apple Watch, health research, and fitness applications.
Matsuoka didnâ€™t reply to an e-mail requesting comment. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.
Before joining Apple, Matsuoka led technology efforts as a vice president at Alphabet Inc.â€™s Nest Labs. She is credited with developing the technology that helps Nest thermostats automatically adapt to things like environmental conditions and past usage. Matsuoka was a pioneer in robotics, having helped invent a lifelike robotic hand. She is also a co-founder of Google X, the lab that produced Google Glass.
In recent years, Apple has poured significant resources into machine learning, software that allows computers to analyze and adapt to new data without being explicitly programmed, across its product lines while promoting health and fitness with multiple devices.
The company has stocked its health teams with industry experts since before announcing the Apple Watch in 2014. Michael Oâ€™Reilly, an Apple vice president in charge of medical research and related technologies, was formerly the chief medical officer at health technology firm Masimo Corp. In 2013, Apple hired Jay Blahnik, a famed fitness instructor and Nike Inc. consultant, as a director of the companyâ€™s fitness applications.
Apple is working to expand the iPhoneâ€™s health-tracking software into a diagnostic tool, Bloomberg News reported in September. The companyâ€™s current application is a repository of data rather than a tool that can analyze and make recommendations based on the information. Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook referenced this ambition at Startup Fest Europe in May by comparing the human body to a car.
â€œIf you need an oil change, it comes on and says check the oil,â€ Cook said. â€œIt has all of these things in it that alert you that you need to do something. What is the equivalent for the body?â€
Apple met with Food and Drug Administration officials this year to discuss future cardiac-related devices and diagnosis applications, according to e-mails obtained by MobiHealthNews through the Freedom of Information Act. Oâ€™Reilly told the FDA that Apple is developing â€œseveral projects that will be of interestâ€ to the agency, MobiHealthNews reported.
Other notable Apple departures this year include online retail vice president Bob Kupbens, global marketing vice president Hiroki Asai, and managers on Appleâ€™s autonomous car project.
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