Apple Reportedly Developing Non-Invasive Blood Sugar Sensors

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters

Such an initiative was first imagined by Steve Jobs and Apple has been working on it for five years.

The same sources reveal Apple has been working on this project for the last three years.

The sensors being developed are slated to work noninvasively and continuously in monitoring blood sugar levels. CNBC reports that Apple Inc. has hired a concentrated team of biomedical engineers at their Palo Alto office in California, several miles away from their corporate headquarters. If Apple's team is successful, such technology would be implemented in future models of the Apple Watch.

Apple is now working on developing a glucose sensor for their future Apple Smartwatches to help diabetes patients measure their blood sugar levels.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body can not effectively use the insulin it produces.

There are reports that Apple's approach is to use optical sensors that shine light into the skin to measure glucose in the blood.

The project - envisioned by co-founder Steve Jobs before his death - could lead to wearable devices that detect the disease and monitor blood-sugar levels.

The Cupertino company has also reportedly been conducting feasibility trials at clinical stores across the San Francisco Bay Area, and has hired consultants to figure out regulatory pathways. But, as the FDA noted, this meant its readings could "differ substantially" and somewhat unpredictably from blood glucose levels. The sensor could potentially interface with an Apple Watch, instantly making the device a must-have for a huge group of people.

The other big issue is that a device that could help people manage and treat conditions like diabetes would likely require some form of FCC approval.

The iPhone maker reportedly wanted to include various sensors in the original Apple Watch, but the plans were dropped because the technology was not free of flaws, which encouraged the company to work on more advanced sensors. It can directly monitor and analyze a user's health data for medical and fitness purposes. Now, Apple is said to be working on sensors that will be unlike the traditional method and avoid pricking finger.

Those hires, reported early a year ago, sparked speculation that Apple may indeed be working on such a product.

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