Is Apple about to make a diabetes breakthrough?

sugar

According to CNBC, Apple has taken on a group of biomedical engineers to develop sensors for use in treating diabetes.

CNBC claims 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”.

This could have huge potential for the Apple Watch.

Last year DigitalHealthAge.com reported how some big names in medtech had recently joined Apple’s ranks. These included Anne Shelchuk, formerly of ultrasound company Zonare, Craig Slyfield, an expert on human bone 3D visualisation, and perhaps most interestingly in the wearables field, Jay Mung, who previously researched sensor algorithms for Medtronic’s continuous glucose monitoring system.

At the time is was reported that all four of the new job postings were in ‘health technology’, and consisted of two engineers, a project manager and an R&D technician. Any prospective biomedical studies engineer were required to offer “design and execution of human user studies for providing reliable, revealing data for evaluating feasibility of health, wellness, and fitness sensors, systems, and applications” according to the job posting.

Last summer, according to Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, Apple was planning a ‘killer new product’ for the healthcare sector.

The paper suggested that the device may gather data on heart rate, pulse, and blood sugar using pressure sensing technology.

The company has already made a significant impact on the healthcare sector with the launches of ResearchKit and CareKit – mobile platforms for patient monitoring and life science research.

Testing for blood glucose levels using non-invasive methods has also been developed by Prof. Gin Jose and his team at the University of Leeds.

With his GlucoSense device patients place the pad of their finger against a small glass window. A low-powered laser beam is then projected through that window, and into their finger. Some of that light is absorbed by glucose in the bloodstream, and some is reflected back down onto the window.

Another option may be on the way, however, in the form of a device that simply shines a laser on the user’s finger.

Known as GlucoSense, the system was developed by Prof. Gin Jose and his team at the University of Leeds.

To use it, patients simply place the pad of their finger against a small glass window on the device. A low-powered laser beam is then projected through that window, and into their finger to measure glucose levels.

 



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