Apple has been focusing on heath apps for quite some time, but now, it seems the company is developing sensors that can measure blood sugar levels, helping those who are suffering from diabetes. If the reports are to be believed, then such efforts have been ongoing for the last five years.
Sensors to track sugar levels
According to CNBC, the Cupertino-based company has deployed a team of biochemical engineers to work on the project. It reportedly wants a device to track glucose levels through contact with the skin and not by pricking out blood. As of now, the team is based in Palo Alto and not Apple’s main headquarters.
Apparently, Apple has already started tests in the Bay Area and hired consultants who will help align the product development with the complex health regulations. Citing a source aware of the development, CNBC stated that around 30 people were working in the group.
However, there are speculations that the team is bigger than that because Apple has reportedly hired at least a dozen biomedical experts from companies such as Vital Connect, Medtronic, and C8 Medisensors and Masimo Corp. The source stated that while some of them are on the sensor team, others are working on the Apple Watch Team.
Will the new feature come on the Apple Watch?
The sensor that Apple is said to be developing will emit light and shine it through the skin to check the current glucose level. As of now, there is no word on whether the sensor will be in the Apple Watch or come as a standalone device.
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. CEO Tim Cook has already stated that the company does not want the watch to go through the FDA approval process, which would be required if the watch were to have more advanced features.
Therefore, as of now, it is not clear whether the company will bring the sensor technology to the watch or not. However, if the company does include advanced medical features in the watch, then it will not be in the model that will be launched in the fall.
Rising important of bio-electronics
Apple’s idea (provided the reports are true) is undeniably bright, as it will increase the desirability of its products while also making life easier for diabetics. The late Steve Jobs was also keen on technology via a wearable that can track health vitals such as oxygen levels, blood sugar and heart rate.
The development comes to light when pharmaceuticals and technology are coming together to combat chronic diseases with the help of top-notch tech devises, biology, and software, creating a new field called bio-electronics.
Last year, Alphabet and GlaxoSmithKline launched a joint venture to focus on marketing bio-electronic devices that can combat illness by attaching to individual nerves. Biotech firms such as Setpoint Medical and EnteroMedics Inc in the United States are already impressed with the early benefits of bio-electronics in the treatment of suppressing appetite in the obese, and treating rheumatoid arthritis, notes SMH.