Tim Cook is spotted testing a new Apple Watch glucose sensor that could help diabetics

Tim Cook is spotted testing a new Apple Watch glucose sensor that could help diabetics
May 19 15:46 2017 Print This Article

Apple boss Tim Cook has been testing a device that attaches to an Apple Watch and could be revolutionary for people with diabetes, according to a new report.

The glucose monitor could provide real-time information for millions on how exercise and food changes blood sugar levels.

It is described as the ‘holy grail’ of life sciences, because it’s difficult to monitor blood sugar without breaking the skin.

Cook has been spotted trailing a prototype of the wearable device on the Apple campus, according to CNBC.

In February Cook told students at the University of Glasgow he was ‘really excited’ about its potential in health care.

‘I’ve been wearing a continuous glucose monitor for a few weeks,’ he told the students.

‘I just took it off before coming on this trip’, he said.

Sources suggests the company is already doing trials in the Bay Area.

The project – envisioned by co-founder Steve Jobs before his death – could lead to ‘breakthrough’ wearable devices that detect the disease and monitor blood-sugar levels.

Apple has hired a team of biomedical engineers as part of the secret initiative, according to reports in CNBC.

Up to 30 people are believed to be working on the project, which has be running for five years – according to CNBC’s sources.

They say the firm has been carrying out clinical trials in San Francisco and has hired consultants to look into the rules and regulations around bringing such a product to market.

The engineers are said to be working from a nondescript office in Palo Alto, around 15 miles away from the new Apple corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The researchers have been tasked with developing bio-sensors to monitor blood sugar levels.
Currently this involves taking regular blood samples, which can involve anything from a thumb-prick test to intravenous extraction.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.

Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar

Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels

The number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014 – the latest year for which global figures are available – according to the World Heath Organisation.

The late Apple CEO envisaged the devices as another form of wearable technology, similar to a smartwatch or fitness monitors
And if the non-invasive sensors come to fruition, it would be a breakthrough moment for medical science.

‘There is a cemetery full of efforts’ to measure glucose in a non-invasive way, said DexCom chief executive Terrance Gregg, whose firm is known for minimally invasive blood-sugar motechniques.

To succeed would require ‘several hundred million dollars or even a billion dollars,’ he previously told Reuters.

The number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014 – the latest year for which global figures are available – according to the World Heath Organisation.

The news comes at a time when the line between pharmaceuticals and technology is blurring.

Companies are joining forces to tackle chronic diseases using high-tech devices that combine biology, software and hardware.

This has jump-starting a new field of medicine called bio-electronics.

Last year, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Google parent Alphabet Inc unveiled a joint company aimed at marketing bio-electronic devices to fight illness by attaching to individual nerves.

U.S. biotech firms Setpoint Medical and EnteroMedics Inc have already demonstrated some early progress of bio-electronics in treating rheumatoid arthritis and suppressing appetite in the obese.

Other companies exploring the technology include Medtronic Plc, Proteus Digital Technology, Sanofi SA and Biogen Inc.

Gum disease could be an early warning sign of type 2 diabetes, a study suggests.

Experts said dentists who discovered patients with severe gum problems should screen them for the condition.

A study of 313 middle-aged people by the University of Amsterdam found patients with severe gum disease were 23 per cent more likely to have type 2 diabetes, and 47 per cent more likely to have pre-diabetes than those with no gum disease.

Writing in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research And Care, they said this was because people with diabetes were more susceptible to infections and impaired wound healing.

The researchers said it would be feasible to screen for undiagnosed diabetes in dental practices, focusing on people with the most severe form of gum disease.

Picking up on diabetes and pre-diabetes early is essential in helping to avoid complications.

Some 3.5million people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes – but more than 500,000 are living with the condition unknowingly.

  Article "tagged" as:
view more articles

About Article Author


I am a very driven Web Content Manager with extensive experience in digital writing and editing, strong ability to work with teams and multi-task projects under strict deadlines. I have extensive experience in various CMS, including Vivvo and Word Press. Most of all I am a Christian.

View More Articles
write a comment


No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Add a Comment

Your data will be safe! Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.
All fields are required.