Apple Considered Purchasing Tesla, Researching Medical Devices To Predict Heart Attacks

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A new report from the San Francisco Gate states that Apple may have considered purchasing car manufacturer Tesla last year. Adrian Perica, head of acquisitions at Apple, met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk early last year. According to various sources, Apple CEO Tim Cook was probably also involved in the meeting.

In October 2013, German investment banking analyst Adnaan Ahmad created a media stir when he wrote an “open letter” to Apple CEO Tim Cook and board director Al Gore, urging the company to acquire Tesla.

Six months before Ahmad’s letter, Musk met with Perica and probably Cook at Apple headquarters, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect business relationships. While a megadeal has yet to emerge (for all of its cash, Apple still plays hardball on valuation), such a high-level meeting between the two Silicon Valley giants involving their top dealmakers suggests Apple was very much interested in buying the electric car pioneer.

One analyst suggested that the deal would have been to integrate iOS devices with Tesla cars, but it remains unclear as to why such a discussion would involve Tesla’s CEO and Apple’s head of acquisitions.

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The report also claims that Apple’s interest in medical devices, rumoured to be linked into the iWatch, includes an effort to predict heart attacks using audio sensors. Tomlinson Holman, the audio pioneer behind the THX sound standard, is reportedly leading the effort. Holman joined Apple in 2011.

Though Apple has never confirmed it, the company hired Holman in 2011 to “provide audio direction,” according to his LinkedIn profile. At the time, observers assumed Holman would focus his efforts on boosting the audio quality of MacBooks and iPhones.

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.

Apple has several patents which cover heart-related biometrics, like the ability to authenticate a device based on a user’s unique heart rhythm.

Apple’s iWatch is rumoured to include a variety of medical sensors for monitoring various aspects of health and fitness related statistics. Over the past several months Apple has been hiring multiple experts in various medical fields, including its latest acquisition of Marcelo Lamego, a researcher who developed a medical device that measures a patient’s oxygen saturation, haemoglobin levels, and pulse rate.

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