The latest rumor from Apple doesn’t have anything to do with what the next iPhone will look like or what we might see in the next iOS update. Instead, reports from CNBC claim that a “secret” team of Biomedical Engineers in Palo Alto are working on methods to more effectively monitor blood sugar levels without undergoing an invasive procedure.
This work is said to have started with the company’s late founder Steve Jobs who wanted to develop a sensor that would continuously and non-invasively monitor blood sugar levels. Feasibility trials are now being carried out at clinical sites in the San Francisco Bay area, with consultants hired to figure out regulatory issues.
Rumors that Apple are working on technologies that could improve your quality of life aren’t new. In the past, information regarding the early Apple Watch suggested that the device would be able to monitor blood pressure and blood sugar levels but health-related sensors that the company wished to include were eventually dropped because of the lack of consistent accuracy. Around this time, dozens of biomedical experts were hired and Apple stressed their desire to pursue it’s health-related work.
CEO Tim Cook stated that Apple does not want to put the Apple Watch through the FDA approval process and this is something that would have to happen if they were to go ahead with more advanced health features:
“We don’t want to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process. I wouldn’t mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long. But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it — maybe an app, maybe something else.”
The third generation of Apple Watch is rumored to be released later this year, but unless Cook has changed his mind regarding FDA approval, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing this feature. As it stands, information regarding the device points to improved battery life and cellular connectivity.
Apple have recently also launched the CareKit platform which allows developers to create integrated software allowing for doctors and nurses to manage medical conditions better. The Diabetes monitor One Drop was one of the first companies to support this platform.