Apple is serious about health, and the company’s next innovation may be a medical breakthrough that can dramatically change how people use wearables.
The company is reportedly working on a super-secret project that involves developing noninvasive sensors that can continuously monitor blood sugar levels accurately without piercing the skin. According to CNBC, the project was envisioned five years ago by Steve Jobs to better treat diabetes.
Jobs’ vision included wearables that can be used to monitor a person’s vitals, like oxygen levels, blood glucose and heart rate. Although the current Apple Watch already has a way to measure heart rate, it has yet to incorporate sensors for blood glucose and oxygen levels.
For this reason, the report indicated Apple has been quietly building a biomedical team to develop optical sensors that can measure glucose by shining a light through the skin. The tech giant has gathered about 30 people to work for the project, as of a year ago, and snatched a dozen biomedical experts from various companies to work at a secret office that’s miles away from its official headquarters.
It is now believed the project is so far ahead, the team is already running trials of the sensors at clinical sites in the San Francisco Bay area. Additionally, Apple has hired consultants to pave the project’s way through regulatory approvals, another sure sign that it could be released publicly in the near future.
Currently, the only accurate way to continuously monitor a person’s blood sugar level is by inserting a glucose sensor below the skin. If Apple can successfully develop this noninvasive method, it could revolutionize how blood glucose levels are measured.
If the project wraps up soon, the blood glucose sensor could appear on the next version of the Apple Watch, making the wearable a must-have monitoring tool for diabetics.