Apple is doubling down on its ambitious project that aims to bring noninvasive blood sugar monitoring to the Apple Watch. According to a new report from Bloomberg, the company has put one of its most important senior chip executives in charge of the project. The move signals Apple’s continued commitment to this project.
Apple’s efforts to bring glucose-monitoring features to the Apple Watch are housed under the company’s Exploratory Design Group team. The project was led by engineering executive Bill Athas until 2022, when he unexpectedly passed away.
Today’s report explains that the team was “overseen on an ad-hoc basis” by former Athas deputies in the months following his passing. Those people reported directly to Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies.
Now, Apple has enlisted Tim Millet to oversee the team working on Apple’s noninvasive blood sugar monitoring technology. Millet has been at Apple for 19 years and has been “one of Srouji’s top two lieutenants for a decade.”
Millet, along with the rest of Srouji’s team, has been a critical component of Apple’s switch from Intel to Apple Silicon chips over the past several years. In addition to now leading the work on this new Apple Watch health feature, Millet also “leads several teams behind the development of next-generation processors and other computer components.”
Today’s report explains:
The group working on the glucose tracker resides within Apple’s semiconductor organization because the system relies on an advanced chip-based system. It uses a range of sensors to shoot lasers into the skin and determine how much glucose is present in a person’s body. Combined with artificial intelligence algorithms, the chip can then determine a person’s blood sugar.
Apple’s work on noninvasive blood sugar monitoring dates back to 2011 and is viewed as a “moonshot-style project,” with the idea originating during the Steve Jobs era. In February, it was reported that Apple had hit multiple “major milestones” in its work on this technology.
The company’s end goal is to bring this functionality to the Apple Watch, though it’s still years away from that becoming a reality.