CNBC reports Apple has a small team of biomedical engineers working on developing better ways to monitor blood sugar with the Apple Watch. The team is said to be working out of an unmarked, low key office in Palo Alto, California.
They are part of a super secret initiative, initially envisioned by the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, to develop sensors that can non-invasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels to better treat diabetes, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The team is said to report to Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies. The reports sources indicated the initiative is far enough along that Apple has been conducting feasibility trials at clinical sites across the Bay Area and has hired consultants to help it figure out the regulatory pathways.
One of the people said that Apple is developing optical sensors, which involves shining a light through the skin to measure indications of glucose.
Rumors circulated before the release of the first Apple Watch that suggested the new wearable would be able to measure blood glucose levels, as well as a user’s blood pressure. A number of the sensors that Apple wanted to include in the Watch were reportedly dropped, as the technology didn’t provide consistent measurements.
Since then, Apple has made several health-related acquisitions and has reportedly hired dozens of additional biomedical experts. All in the pursuit of developing more advanced health sensors.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has in the past been quoted as saying the Cupertino firm doesn’t want to put the Apple Watch through the FDA approval process, something that would be required if the device included more advanced healthcare features.
While Apple may be working on advanced health sensors for the Apple Watch, they likely would not make an appearance in the third-generation device rumored to debut later this year.