The tech race to glucose monitoring will be a Win-Win

apple glucoseIt was reported today that Apple has a secret team working on sensors that will monitor and assist in the treatment for diabetes. Actually it has not been a secret as they have been working on this for a couple years, but it sounds like they may be closer. The rumor is that Apple has hired a small team of biomedical engineers to work at a nondescript office in Palo Alto, California, miles from corporate headquarters. They are part of a secret plan, initially envisioned by Steve Jobs, to develop sensors that can non-invasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels to better treat diabetes. Jobs envisioned wearable devices, like smartwatches, being used to monitor important vitals, such as oxygen levels, heart rate and blood glucose. 

“In the US there are 30 million people with diabetes”

Make no mistake, a breakthrough like this would be a huge money maker. Just in the US there are 30 million people with diabetes – maybe not all Apple watch owners, but you get the picture. It could turn the Apple Watch into a “must have” rather than a “nice to have” for people who would benefit from an easier way to track their blood sugar – no more pricks to the finger.

google glucose
Apple isn’t the only technology company eyeing opportunities in the space. Verily, Google’s life sciences team, is currently working on a “smart” contact lens to measure blood sugar via the eye, and it partnered up with DexCom in 2015 to develop a glucose-sensing device no bigger than a bandage. Verily is also working with Sanofi to do the same thing. Sanofi announced the end of last year that “the company will leverage Verily’s experience in miniaturized electronics, analytics, and consumer software development, with Sanofi’s clinical expertise and experience in bringing innovative treatments to people living with diabetes.” 

Whether or not its not all about the money, a tech breakthrough like this will positively affect so many people. Having known so many people with the disease myself, I can say that even simplifying the task of measuring your blood everyday, will be a big relief for diabetes patients. May the best tech company win – as well as patients. Win-Win.

The glucose monitoring software is already there.

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