Apple’s secret plans to dominate a $16 billion – and growing – market

Apple is developing a non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring system that it ultimately hopes to integrate into the rather amazing Apple Watch. The project, which dates back to the Steve Jobs era, would allow diabetics monitor blood sugar levels without the need for finger pricks or invasive sensors.

Apple's secret plans to dominate a $16 billion - and growing - market

Danny Vena for The Motley Fool:

This mission, which has been kept under wraps for more than a decade, involves measuring a diabetic’s sugar levels without the need to draw blood — one of the more painful aspects of a patient’s ongoing disease-management regimen.

Apple has developed a non-invasive way to test blood glucose levels employing a specialized silicon photonics chip for use in a process known as optical absorption spectroscopy… The process uses a laser to shine a light, in a specific wavelength, into the skin. By measuring how much light is reflected back, the system can measure the amount of glucose — or blood sugar — present.

Apple has achieved major milestones recently, according to the report, and has reached the proof-of-concept stage, showing that the technology is feasible…

This could be big business for Apple. It’s estimated that more than 10% of the U.S. population, or roughly 34 million people, have diabetes. Worldwide, about 537 million people suffer from the disease, but that number is expected to jump to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.

MacDailyNews Take: Initially envisioned by the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Apple engineers were tasked with developing sensors that can non-invasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels to better treat diabetes. Before his death, Jobs envisioned wearable devices, like smartwatches, being used to monitor important vitals, such as oxygen levels, heart rate and blood glucose, as Christina Farr reported for CNBC back in 2017.

If achieved, Apple Watch would become the essential device for hundreds of millions of people with diabetes. Non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring would indeed be the holy grail for treating diabetes.MacDailyNews, April 12, 2017

Back in 2013, EDN (originally Electrical Design News) covered non-invasive blood glucose monitoring using near-infrared spectroscopy here.

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[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


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