According to some sources, Apple has created a team of around 30 biomedical engineers that work not in the corporate headquarters, but actually miles away in Palo Alto, California.
The purpose of this group is to create glucose-sensing technology, which means that they are trying to develop medical devices that can monitor blood sugar levels.
This medical device should help to treat diabetes better. This was initially the vision of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. If this happens, it will be a “holy grail” for all life sciences. Because many companies tried to do this and failed.
They did not manage to do that because it is very challenging to track glucose levels accurately and not pierce the skin.
According to some people, Apple conducted a feasibility trial across the Bay Area at clinical sites. And also Apple hired consultants that will help figure out the pathways i.e. regulatory pathways.
It is believed that this is going on for five years. And Steve Jobs envisioned medical devices to be wearable such as smartwatches.
Moreover, these devices are able to monitor crucial vitals like blood glucose, oxygen levels, and heart rate.
In fact, in 2010 Apple without much fuss acquired Cor, a company. And later Bob Messerschmidt, the CEO sent Steve Jobs a cold email about sensor technologies for wellness and health.
Later, Bob Messerschmidt became part of the Watch team Apple.
Leader of The Team
It is reported that responsible for the team is the senior vice president of Apple for hardware technologies, Johny Srouji.
And it is believed that before Srouji, responsible for the team was Michael D. Hillman. But Michael D. Hillman in 2015 left Apple and started working as head of hardware for Facebook’s Oculus.
The LinkedIn page of Michael D. Hillman says that he had a “confidential role” in hardware technologies when he was working at Apple.
But the speculations started when Apple snapped up biomedical experts from different companies such as C8 Medisensors, Vital Connect, Medtronic, Masimo, and Sano. Some of these biomedical experts work in the Watch Team while others are part of the secret team.
What Are They Making
There are speculations that they are making optical sensors, part of that will be using light to shine through the skin and to be able to measure the indicators of glucose.
But to accurately detecting glucose levels has always been a challenge. According to John L. Smith, one of the top experts, that is the most difficult challenge.
The many failures did not discourage the companies. They are still trying to make it happen.
The executive chairman of DexCom, Terrance Gregg, said that in order to succeed one company will need to spend hundreds of millions or maybe even a billion dollars.
If there is a breakthrough that will benefit millions of people with diabetes, will encourage new researchers. And for sure it will open a potential consumer market for people to be able to track their blood sugar for wellness and health insights.
The Apple Watch will become a must-have device for people with diabetes. Because it will be an easier way for them to track blood sugar.
However, Apple is not the only company that sees this as a possible market for consumers. In fact, Google is working with its life sciences team to create a similar purpose to measure blood sugar.
They are trying to make a smart contact lens that via the eye will measure blood sugar.
Furthermore, in 2015 made a partnership with DexCom to create a glucose-sensing device that will be the size of a bandage. And Apple refused to give any comments on this topic.