Apple is reportedly working on an initiative that may one day make diabetics' frequent and painful finger pricking a thing of the past.
The tech giant has a team of biomedical engineers working on sensors that will allow diabetics to monitor their blood sugar levels noninvasively, CNBC reported Wednesday. Diabetes is said to be one of the fastest growing diseases in the world, affecting one in 11 adults around the globe, according to the World Health Organization.
The efforts have been going on for at least five years, with Apple already conducting feasibility trials at clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area, sources told the business news channel.
In order to keep blood sugar levels in check, diabetics must give themselves multiple finger prick blood tests throughout the day. These tests can be time consuming and painful. But they're crucial -- if glucose levels get out of control, diabetics risk damage to their eyes, kidneys and heart.
Other tech companies have tried and so far failed to develop a testing procedure that avoids piercing the skin. Google said three years ago that it was working on contact lenses with sensors "so small they look like bits of glitter" to help diabetics monitor their glucose levels, but so far no product has been released.
Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Updated at 5:50 p.m. PT to remove information about an Apple Watch app that tracks glucose levels.
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