Apple Watch blood glucose monitoring feature in development but likely years away
Apple is developing new technology to monitor blood glucose levels on Apple Watch, although it is unlikely the feature will launch anytime soon, with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman saying that it could take “another three to seven years at least” before the feature is released.
To enable blood glucose monitoring, it is reported that the Apple Watch will need new optical sensors for a non-invasive blood glucose measuring system.
The traditional way to measure blood sugar levels is by testing a drop of blood in a blood sugar meter or using an implant known as a CGM. It is understood that like how Apple uses sensors on the current-generation Apple Watch to allow users to perform an electrocardiogram on their wrist, to show whether their heart rhythm indicates signs of atrial fibrillation, a future Apple Watch will have sensors that could notify the wearer when there has been a change in their blood sugar levels or assist them in recording data to assist with their care for diabetes.
In his weekly “Power On” newsletter, Gurman says the technology Apple is working with uses a silicon photonics chip to beam light from a laser under the skin to determine the concentration of glucose in the body. However, Apple “still needs to perfect the algorithms and on-board sensors” and also needs to “shrink it down to the size of a module that can fit in the small and thin package that is an Apple Watch.”
Because of this, Gurman believes it “will take another three to seven years at least” before the company is in a position to release blood glucose monitoring to users.