A small, secret team of biomedical engineers at Apple is said to be working on a “holy grail” for diabetics: wearable sensors that could continuously monitor a person’s blood sugar levels without the need for pin-prick testing.
Based in a small facility in Palo Alto, Calif., the Apple project “has been conducting feasibility trials at clinical sites across the Bay Area,” CNBC reported yesterday, citing information from “three people familiar with the matter.”
According to the report, Apple has been working for at least five years to develop such biomedical devices. The program was reportedly inspired by Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2011. Apple did not respond to our request for comment on the report.
No Breakthrough Product Yet
A chronic disease in which the body cannot produce or use insulin properly, diabetes currently affects more than 420 million people around the world, according to the World Health Organization. The disease causes a wide range of health complications, including blindness, heart attacks, and stroke, and is blamed for millions of premature deaths every year.
Diabetes can often be controlled through exercise, diet, medication and insulin injections, but monitoring the condition can require patients to regularly draw a small amount of blood for testing.
“Pricking a finger multiple times a day to monitor their blood glucose levels often proves overwhelming for patients with diabetes,” the JAMA Network reported in a July journal article. “Many simply won’t follow their physician’s recommendation to test so frequently, making it harder to manage their condition.”
Over the years, such difficulties have led to numerous and well-funded efforts to develop an effective, easy and non-invasive way to monitor blood sugar levels. However, no such breakthrough product has yet to hit the market.
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According to the CNBC report, until…