Apple has hired robotics expert Yoky Matsuoka to work on health projects, according to a report from Fortune today. Matsuoka has an impressive resume, having co-founded Google's experimental Google X lab in 2009 before joining Nest as head of technology. Before that, she was a robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon University, where she taught Nest co-founder Matt Rogers. At Apple, Matsuoka is said to be working on the company's various wellness initiatives, including HealthKit, ResearchKit, and the newly announced CareKit. Launched in March, CareKit lets developers create apps for managing personal health and sharing data with physicians.
Matsuoka has been a free agent since last year, when she ultimately declined to start a new job at Twitter after being diagnosed with, and overcoming, a life-threatening illness. In a Medium post last May, Matsuoka said she was focused on spending time with her family and "working on some personal projects," but was interested in continuing her career in tech at some point in the future. Given her track record, it's no surprise a company like Apple hired her, and it seems Matsuoka's experience has given her a new passion in the form of health software. According to Fortune, she'll be reporting directly to Jeff Williams, who acts as both Apple's chief operating officer and the head of the Apple Watch and health divisions.