avatarby John CallahamApril 14, 20170 comments

It’s not a secret that Apple has been working to expand how its products like the iPhone and the Apple Watch could be used in medical, health and fitness programs. However, a new report claims Apple has even more ambitious plans for those areas. The story says the company has been working for the past five years on new technology that could be a revolution for millions of people who suffer from diabetes.

According to CNBC, this effort actually began under the leadership of Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs. The story claims, via unnamed sources, that a small team of biomedical engineers have been working in Palo Alto, California for the past five years to develop sensors that will be able to continually monitor blood sugar levels, without the need to pierce the skin of a diabetes patient.

The story says the devices use optical sensors to shine a light through a person’s skin, which can then be used to monitor glucose levels. It adds that feasibility trials for this technology are already underway at clinical sites in the San Francisco Bay area. Officially, Apple has not confirmed it is working on such a project.

If this report is accurate, it could be a huge boost for sales of the Apple Watch, which would almost certainly add these kinds of sensors in future editions. In theory, such a smartwatch could replace painful and expensive blood monitoring devices and provide more accurate information so that diabetes patients could get better treatments. However, there’s no indication of when these new sensors would become available to the general public if indeed the story is true.