New Technology on the Horizon for Diabetes

New Technology on the Horizon for Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you know testing your blood sugar levels can be hard. Apple has hired a team of biomedical engineers to help.


This super-secret initiative was initially envisioned by the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs. The goal is to develop sensors that can noninvasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels to better treat diabetes. Life science companies are saying a breakthrough like this would be a “holy grail” for life sciences. Many companies have tried to develop such technology but have failed. It is highly challenging to track glucose levels accurately without piercing the skin.It is rumored that Apple has been conducting trials at clinical sites in the Bay Area of California. These efforts have been going on for at least the last five years. Jobs envisioned a wearable device, like a smartwatch that could monitor important vitals like oxygen, heart rate, and blood glucose.


In 2010, Apple quietly acquired a company called Cor. The former CEO of Cor, Bob Messerschimdt, had sent Jobs information on the topic of sensor technologies for health and wellness. Messerschimdt is now part of the Apple Watch team. Speculation has been flying around since the company snapped up about a dozen biomedical experts from companies like Vital Connect, Masimo, and Sano. Word is, Apple is developing optical sensors, which involves shining a light through the skin to measure indications of glucose.

Accurately detecting glucose levels has been a challenge, even for top experts in the space. Expert John L. Smith describes this challenge as, “the most difficult technical challenge I have encountered in my career.” This hasn’t stopped them from continuing trying to crack this elusive issue, even though it is puzzling and expensive.

A breakthrough like this would be huge for millions of people living with diabetes. It would spur new medical research as well as open up the doors for people to track their blood sugar more quickly and less painfully.

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