Apple is working on a secret project to develop wearable devices that can monitor the blood sugar of diabetics without using invasive finger sticks, part of a vision that originated with company founder Steve Jobs, CNBC reported earlier this week.
Apple has assembled a team of biomedical engineers from various companies to work on the project, according to the report.
Cor, a company Apple acquired in 2010, has been working for more than five years on a way to integrate noninvasive glucose monitoring into a wearable like an Apple Watch device.
Glucose monitoring traditionally has required that diabetics use lancets to pierce their fingertips at least four times daily, measuring blood glucose levels before and after meals, when waking up, and before going to bed.
Many Type 1 diabetics wear pumps to deliver insulin, and they sometimes test up to 16 times a day.
One of the benefits of continuous glucose monitoring, or CGM, is to warn diabetics when blood glucose is rising or falling rapidly. Hypoglycemia can result when glucose levels fall below 70 milligrams per deciliter. Hyperglycemia, a rapid rise of blood glucose, can lead to ketoacidosis or, worse, a diabetic coma.
Apple reportedly has begun feasibility studies in the Bay Area and has retained consultants to help with regulatory issues.
Managing diabetes has been a rapidly evolving focus in both the smartphone and wearable device markets.
Integrating glucose sensors into wearable devices is a difficult challenge, but the market potential is very great, noted Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for WW mobile device trackers at IDC.
“Today most wearables are consumer products, but there’s an untapped opportunity in the medical community,” he told TechNewsWorld.
The overall diabetic testing market will reach US$17 billion in 2021, up from $12 billion in 2016, ABI has estimated. Revenue from CGM devices is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 41 percent. More…