Apple said to have considered buying Tesla, working on tech to predict heart attacks

File photo of the interior of the Tesla Model S at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit

As Apple continues to seek growth outside of smartphone and tablet markets, we’ve heard various rumors speculating on what areas the company could enter next. Automotive and medical industries have been popular answers as of late, and today a report added weight to those theories.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting today that Apple has been exploring both cars and medical devices to reignite growth, and the scoop is filled with interesting tidbits. For example, the outlet claims Apple execs met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year to discuss a potential buyout…

The Chronicle’s Thomas Lee and David R. Baker report:

“Adrian Perica is a very busy man. Over the past 18 months, the mergers and acquisitions chief at Apple has been scouring the globe looking for deals, snatching up everything from search engines and data analytics to mapping software and motion tracking chips. Such a buying spree has ignited fierce speculation in tech circles and on Wall Street about Apple’s future ambitions, especially as smartphone and tablet sales start to slow. Most of that speculation has centered on wearable technology or perhaps a souped-up upgrade of Apple TV.

But Apple is thinking bigger. Much bigger.

A source tells The Chronicle that Perica met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Cupertino last spring around the same time analysts suggested Apple acquire the electric car giant.”

The outlet goes on to quote sources saying that Perica, and likely Tim Cook, met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Cupertino last spring. It’s possible that the two sides were discussing in-vehicle integration of iOS, but that wouldn’t explain why Apple’s chief of mergers and acquisitions was there.

On an unrelated note, the report also claims that Apple’s deeply interested in medical device technology—much like the stuff we’ve been hearing with the iWatch. One particularly interesting project, led by former THX’er Tomlinson Holman, involves using audio sensors to predict heart attacks.

“Holman’s role in Apple’s medical ambitions is particularly intriguing because of his pioneering audio work in movies. As corporate technical director at Lucasfilm, Holman developed revolutionary THX technology that consistently reproduces high-quality sound in movie theaters and homes that most closely matches the original audio mix of films. […]

But under Holman, Apple is exploring ways to measure noise “turbulence” as it applies to blood flow. The company wants to develop software and sensors that can predict heart attacks by identifying the sound blood makes as it tries to move through an artery clogged with plaque, the source said.”

While both projects sound incredibly ambitious for Apple, who has recently come under fire for a “lack of innovation,” they aren’t far-fetched. Apple’s recent hiring spree consists of scientists and medical experts working on an unknown device, and it’s on the verge of launching ‘iOS in the Car.’

I think it’s quite clear that Apple is very interested in both of these areas, and I for one can’t wait to see what comes of these interests.

What do you make of all of this?