The Apple Watch could one day make it easier to treat diabetes
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Apple has been working on the future of treating diabetes for years, and nobody has been the wiser.
CNBC reports that the Cupertino company has a secret team of biomedical engineers working specifically to develop sensors that can detect blood sugar levels. The sensors would be embedded inside Apple Watches and be non-invasive.
Sources speaking to the website say that this initiative has been going on for at least five years, and is far enough along that Apple is conducting feasibility trials at various clinical sites in San Francisco and its surrounding areas. The company reportedly has even hired consultants to "help it figure out the regulatory pathways" that would open the door to commercial production of the new tech.
Apple is working on optical sensors to examine glucose levels, says someone with knowledge of the secretive project. The sensors would shine a light through the skin to take regularly-scheduled measurements.
According to CNBC, the glucose team reports to Apple's Senior VP of hardware technologies, Johny Srouji. About 30 people were on the team as of last year; it was expanded further by an influx of about a dozen biomedical experts which Apple acquired from various medical companies. The new arrivals were split between the team working on the glucose sensors and the team that develops the Apple Watch.
Adding blood sugar sensors to the Apple Watch could see it go from fashion accessory to medical necessity for the millions of people that suffer daily from diabetes. It would also undoubtedly be a big boon for Apple's bottom line—assuming similar products from rivals, such as Google's contact lens-based sensor, don't hit the market first.