Apple hires Duke doctor known as early pioneer of HealthKit & ResearchKit

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Apple has hired on Dr. Ricky Bloomfield, formerly the director of mobile strategy at Duke University and an early adopter of Apple's HealthKit and ResearchKit platforms, according to a report.

The news was initially revealed by a colleague on Twitter and later confirmed by Apple, MobiHealthNews said. As usual the company didn't say what his new role would be, but his colleague indicated it was on Apple's health team.

Duke first integrated HealthKit in 2014, the same year the platform was announced, making use of it to weave patient-created data into its electronic health records. Specifically, a pilot project monitored weight and blood pressure data from patients with cancer and heart problems.

Bloomfield helped create Duke's Austism & Beyond, an early ResearchKit project, which employs video analysis with the idea that it might eventually be able to screen for behavioral conditions like autism or anxiety.

Since June alone Apple has hired several prominent doctors — perhaps most notably Dr. Stephen Friend, the president and co-founder of Sage Bionetworks, which helped build the infrastructure for several ResearchKit apps.

Apple is most likely interested in continuing to build up HealthKit, ResearchKit, and more recently CareKit, as well as its Health app for iOS. The company has been rumored as working on a new device for 2017, though, that would go beyond the heartrate monitoring of the Apple Watch to track pulse, blood sugar, and more.