Apple CEO Tim Cook has been test-driving a device that tracks his blood sugar, connected to his Apple Watch

“Tim Cook has been spotted at the Apple campus test-driving a device that tracks blood sugar, which was connected to his Apple Watch,” Christina Farr reports for CNBC. “A source said that Cook was wearing a prototype glucose-tracker on the Apple Watch, which points to future applications that would make the device a ‘must have’ for millions of people with diabetes — or at risk for the disease.”

“As CNBC reported last month, Apple has a team in Palo Alto working on the ‘holy grail’ for diabetes: Non-invasive and continuous glucose monitoring,” Farr reports. “The current glucose trackers on the market rely on tiny sensors penetrating the skin. Sources said the company is already conducting feasibility trials in the Bay Area.”

“Tim Cook also talked about the device to a roomful of students in February at the University of Glasgow, where he received an honorary degree. He didn’t say if it was a medical device from a company like Medtronic or Dexcom, or an Apple prototype,” Farr reports. “‘I’ve been wearing a continuous glucose monitor for a few weeks,’ he said. ‘I just took it off before coming on this trip.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Whoever comes up with an accurate Apple Watch smartband that acts as a non-invasive blood glucose monitor (reverse iontophoresis) is going to make a mint.MacDailyNews, August 24, 2015

If achieved, Apple Watch would become the essential device for hundreds of millions of people with diabetes.

According to the International Diabetes Federation:

International Diabetes Federation facts: Number of people with diabetes worldwide

Apple reportedly working on incorporating blood glucose sensor into Apple Watch – May 15, 2017
Apple secret team reportedly working holy grail for treating diabetes; initially envisioned by Steve Jobs – April 12, 2017
Apple patent details Apple Watch smart bands – January 24, 2017
Emails between Apple and FDA hint at future plans – December 1, 2016
Analyst: Apple smartbands are a part of the Apple Watch’s future – April 8, 2016
Apple patent application hints at Apple Watch ‘Smartbands’ utilizing hidden 6-pin data connector – February 20, 2016
Why Apple’s iWatch won’t measure glucose levels – February 26, 2014

Next-gen Apple Watch to include game-changing health features, interchangeable smart bands – May 15, 2017
Apple patent details Apple Watch smart bands – January 24, 2017
Apple Watch models could get slimmer as Apple patent reveals haptic motor in wristband – December 22, 2016
Analyst: Apple smartbands are a part of the Apple Watch’s future – April 8, 2016
Apple patent application hints at Apple Watch ‘Smartbands’ utilizing hidden 6-pin data connector – February 20, 2016
Apple likely to debut new Apple Watch bands at March event – January 27, 2016
‘Smartbands’ won’t stop Apple from releasing new Apple Watches every year – August 24, 2015
Charging the Apple Watch using its 6-pin accessory port – May 28, 2015
Apple Watch houses mysterious six-contact data connection port – March 5, 2015
Apple Watch’s hidden port a goldmine for developers, accessory makers – May 4, 2015


  1. It would be useful not only to diabetics, but to many others who would benefit from managing their blood sugar better (self included, I would expect). Simply observing how food choices and exercise can move the needle and sensing how the readings correspond to one’s physical, mental and emotional energy levels could motivate people toward healthier habits.

    Perhaps use of the device could even be rewarded by insurance companies as part of a healthy lifestyle incentive program.

  2. “Apple has a team in Palo Alto working on the ‘holy grail’ for diabetes:”

    Ummm, I hate to be a stick-in-the-mud, but the holy grail for diabetes is a CURE.

    1. Fair enough, but you seem like a glass-half-empty kind of person. Highly portable, non-invasive, real-time monitoring is a great next step for diabetics. That knowledge will aid in the improved maintenance of blood sugar levels which will, in turn, reduce the harmful impacts of the disease. The results will be improved quality of life and reduced medical costs…that’s a win-win in my book.

        1. Medical researchers themselves, not Apple, not the media, put forward the “holy grail” language as a goal marker. Actually, many regard pharmacology and other avenues of research as more promising paths to the “holy grail” than technology, with reduced cardiovascular outcomes being one of the more urgent way stations. An oasis of relief may be reached one day through non-invasive glucose monitors, and it may be hyperbole to call that the holy grail, but that is how patients reaching that point will feel at any rate. That leaves plenty of desert to cross before arriving at anything like a cure.

  3. The map is a bit flawed. “Europe” apparently now includes Russian and all of the ‘Stans to the far reaches of Siberia and the Korean peninsula.

  4. As a Type 1 diabetic I will tell you that continuous glucose monitoring is a life saver. Literally. Today I use a Dexcom. I device that has a small needle that stays under the skin and sends glucose readings to my iPhone and Apple watch every 5 minutes. Its amazing technology.

    Here are Apple’s challenges in this space:

    There are 2 “competitors” Dexcom and Medtronic. Dexcom is the only company who has FDA approval to allow the patient to dose insulin based off of its’ readings. Anything else still requires a blood finger stick to make medical decisions. This is important because future insulin pump technologies will use Dexcom readings in their algorithms to automatically make adjustments. “Artificial Pancreas.” See Bigfoot biomedical and Beta Bionics. If Apple really wants to upend this market for the future, they must create a device so accurate that the FDA trusts it to dose insulin. If Apple can get there, this opens the flood gates to Medicare paying for Apple Watches. Huge.

    Another thing here is that Google is also in this space. They partnered with Dexcom a couple of years ago to accelerate the hardware technology in this segment. IBM is also in this space having partnered with Medtronic on the software side.

    If Apple is just looking to create a device that “kinda” gets glucose right, for the passive everyday non-diabetic to just “see what is happening,” then thats great too.

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