Apple reportedly poaches sleep and activity monitoring Philips expert for iWatch team

iWatch concept (All, Todd Hamilton 001)

In another round of high-profile corporate hires, Apple has apparently poached a sleep research expert from the Dutch technology company Philips.

Specifically, Roy J.E.M Raymann used to lead sleep research at Philips Research, the company’s research and development arm. Not anymore: it’s now assumed he joined Apple’s iWatch team.

According to a new report, this particular guy is experienced in wearables, sensors and non-pharmacological methods of improving sleep quality, an indication that Apple’s rumored wearable project will be much, much more than a smartwatch…

According to Jordan Kahn of 9to5Mac:

Philips Research confirmed “that as of January 1 Roy has left the company,” but wouldn’t confirm or deny if he left for a position at Apple.

During his tenure as a senior scientist at Philips Research, he participated in a bunch of sleep related research projects.

He has written extensively on “mild skin warming” as a non-pharmacological method of altering “sleep-pressure, sleep quality and alertness.” He also has extensive experience in researching wearable sensors and miniaturization of sensors related to tracking sleep and alertness activity.

But that’s just scratching the surface: Raymann founded the Philips Sleep Experience Laboratory and the company’s Brain, Body and Behavior group. He also lead various sleep and activity monitoring initiatives through the company’s Consumer Lifestyle Sleep Research Program.

At post time, his LinkedIn profile wasn’t refreshed with details about his new position at Apple. The profile does reveal, however, that he left his role at the Dutch Society for Sleep-Wake Research in December, probably at Apple’s request.

Apple recently has been bolstering up its mysterious team of medical device experts. A week ago, the firm added Michael O’Reilly, the former chief medical officer and executive VP of medical affairs at pulse oximeter firm Masimo Corporation.

And earlier in January, two experts in mobile medical technologies joined the iWatch hardware team, fueling speculation that Apple’s wearable device could read and analyze blood and glucose levels and monitor other health-critical data, such as heart rates and breathing.

These health and fitness tracking features are said to work in conjunction with a new application in iOS 8 aptly named Healthbook.