Kent Peterson, senior editor, has also produced award-winning work in television and radio.

Apple likes to keep new technology breakthroughs secret until it is ready to announce them. But the company whose iPod and iPhone revolutionized our music and communication habits is said to be working on another exciting advance: sensors to track your blood sugar levels automatically, without drawing any blood.

Imagine if that feature was built into your Apple watch.

It’s hard to envision a more convenient way to continuously monitor blood sugar. But until now, noninvasive blood sugar sensors have only been a dream—and Apple is not the first one who has tried to figure out a way to make them. The technological hurdles are complex and difficult to overcome. Success is not guaranteed.

For example, Google got a lot of attention in 2014 when it announced that it was developing a contact lens to monitor glucose levels in tears. But some reports say that product is still unproven and a long way from coming to market.

Apple’s efforts

CNBC reports that an Apple team in Palo Alto, California has been quietly working on their blood sugar sensors for at least five years, and Apple has already conducted feasibility trials at clinical locations.

How do the sensors work? One person CNBC interviewed says Apple has investigated using optical sensors that shine light into the skin to measure glucose. The technology wouldn’t necessarily have to come in a watch. It might turn up in other devices that are easy to carry along and use anytime.

Recent years have brought great strides in diabetes technology, including such things as continuous glucose monitors and a so-called “artificial pancreas” that automatically mimics some of the organ’s functions. Whether Apple’s blood sugar sensor project bears fruit or not, the enormous amount of diabetes research taking place around the world means that it’s only a matter of time until we discover the next quantum leap in diabetes treatment.

Would you wear a blood sugar sensor? How would it affect your self-care? Add a comment below.