The project is far along enough that Apple has been conducting feasibility trials at clinical sites and hired consultants to help it navigate regulatory pathways. Achieving a reliable way to track glucose levels without piercing the skin is viewed as a 'holy grail' for life sciences.
The effort was initially envisioned by Steve Jobs who wanted smartwatches to monitor important vitals such as oxygen levels, heart rate and blood glucose. One source there were 30 people working in the group a year ago. The glucose team is said to report to Johny Srouji, Apple SVP of Hardware Technologies.
It's believed that Apple is developing optical sensors which shine a light through the skin to measure indications of glucose.
To succeed would cost a company "several hundred millions or even a billion dollars," DexCom executive chairman Terrance Gregg previously told Reuters. The breakthrough would be a boon for millions of people with diabetes, spur new medical research and open up a potential market for consumers to track their blood sugar for health and wellness insights. It could turn the Apple Watch into a "must have" rather than a "nice to have" for people who would benefit from an easier way to track their blood sugar.
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