Apple Is Developing a No-Prick Blood Glucose Monitor to Fight Diabetes

© AFP/File Johannes EISELE

Tech giant Apple, known for its iPhones and iPads, reportedly has a secret project underway that could change the way people monitor their blood glucose levels. The tech giant is developing a noninvasive blood glucose monitor in a form similar to an Apple Watch that can monitor the glucose level of diabetics without having to draw blood.

Bloomberg reports that tech giant Apple is working on a new project — a noninvasive glucose monitoring system similar to its Apple Watch. The project has reportedly been under development since Steve Jobs’ time at the company, and aims to develop a noninvasive, continuous blood glucose monitoring system that can measure blood glucose levels in diabetics without the need for a skin prick.

SAN FRANCISCO – JANUARY 11: Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivers a keynote address at the 2005 Macworld Expo January 11, 2005 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Many startups and established businesses have concentrated on creating noninvasive glucose monitoring systems. Google first revealed plans in 2014 to create smart contact lenses that could detect blood sugar levels through tears, but the challenging project was shelved in 2018. Diabetes is a significant public health issue that affects roughly one in 10 Americans, making the market for glucose monitoring devices worth billions of dollars. Apple could solidify its position as a dominant force in the healthcare sector by developing a noninvasive, continuous glucose monitoring system that would be revolutionary for diabetics.

Silicon photonics chip technology and optical absorption spectroscopy are both used in Apple’s glucose monitoring system. The device emits particular light wavelengths into a region beneath the skin where interstitial fluid and substances that leak from capillaries can be found and are absorbable by glucose. The amount of glucose is then revealed by the light’s reflection back to the sensor. After that, a person’s blood glucose level is determined by an algorithm. If developed further, a glucose monitoring system could be integrated into the Apple Watch, making it useful for millions of people with diabetes worldwide.

Only a small number of employees in Apple’s Exploratory Design Group (XDG) are aware of the project’s progress because it has been kept under wraps. Senior executives like CEO Tim Cook, COO Jeff Williams, and Apple Watch hardware head Eugene Kim are in charge of the XDG team. According to those with knowledge of the situation, the project is one of Apple’s most secretive initiatives, and its development has cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

When Apple acquired RareLight, a startup with an innovative approach to noninvasive blood glucose monitoring, the project got underway in 2010. Steve Jobs, a co-founder of Apple, instructed the maker of the iPhone to purchase the business, citing his vision of fusing technology and healthcare. Apple hired RareLight’s founder Bob Messerschmidt to begin work on a glucose monitor, which was initially given the codename E68. Today, Messerschmidt is the CEO of Cor Health, a healthcare business. According to Messerschmidt, the deal was made possible by “Jobs’ vision of healthcare combined with technology.”

Read more at Bloomberg here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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