Apple could release a totally new gadget to monitor your health in 2017

A new rumour about an Apple health gadget is spreading out of Taiwan — and it could be a new product, separate from the Apple Watch.

Apple is talking to suppliers about a new product that is packed with sensors and can collect data like heart rate, pulse, blood sugar, and other biometric statistics, reports the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (via Apple Insider).

Apple is in talks with a slew of manufacturing partners, including TSMC, Foxconn, TPK, Zhen Ding technology, and others. The device would launch at the same time as the 2017 iPhone, according to the report.

Rumour has it that Apple has been working on a sensor that can measure blood sugar since before the Apple Watch launched. But Google’s Verily has reportedly had trouble building its own “non-invasive” glucometer integrated into an contact lens, and biotech professionals have told me that the technology isn’t ready for primetime yet.

The key to Apple’s sensors is that the company needs them to be non-invasive, which means they won’t require users to draw blood or break the skin.

Apple clearly has long-term plans in health and has hired doctors and nurses. The company also runs around-the-clock biometric labs.

A separate device from the Apple Watch would be surprising, although Apple CEO Tim Cook has talked about a separate health product that could require FDA approval. He has also talked about adding more sensors to the Apple Watch, most notably at a conference earlier this year.

“I love the Watch. One day, this is my prediction, we will look back and we will wonder: how can I ever have gone without the Watch? Because the holy grail of the watch is being able to monitor more and more of what’s going on in the body,” Cook said.

“We’ve gotten into the health arena. We started looking at wellness, and that took us to pulling a string to think about research; then we pulled a string a little further, and it took us to some patient care stuff; and we pulled a string that’s taking us into some other stuff,” Cook said in another interview.

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