Apple Watches already have a pretty comprehensive suite of health features on board. There’s the heart monitor and ECG generator, the step counter, and more recently in the Apple Watch Series 8, the temperature gauge that can be used for sleep and cycle tracking. Now, it looks like there will be a new health feature that sees the watch able to read blood glucose levels, without the need for a needle or a pinprick.
What’s really interesting is not just how the technology will work, but how Apple got there and how the new milestone they’ve reached could make life better for swathes of people.
Big news for diabetes
The best Apple Watch has already saved lives with its heart monitor, but now it could make life a whole lot easier with its new blood glucose reader. It’s a long way off, write Mark Gurman for Bloomberg (opens in new tab)but the company has reached ‘major milestones’ and now Apple believes it could ‘bring glucose monitoring to market’.
This tech is being developed but Apple’s most secretive design team, XDG. That’s a fun Acronym for the ‘Exploratory Design group’, a previously unreported group within the already secretive Apple. This technology has reportedly been in development for the last 12 years, and only now is looking like it’s in the proof of concept phase.
While it’s still a long way off, there’s a great deal to be excited about here. My Dad, a type 2 Diabetic, and he has to take regular blood glucose readings throughout the day. Those involve a pinprick in his finger, and then a short reading from a machine that he keeps in a drawer next to his desk. There are multiple steps to the process, and sometimes he forgets. Even when his phone tells him it’s time, there are still a few different things he has to do. If he’s in the middle of a work-based call, for example, he can slip his mind.
If this was done by his Apple Watch, not only would he be less likely to forget, as he could have reminders on his watch to ping him when he needs a reading, but it could be done without a needle. Apple could, like it’s already done with step counters and other fitness products, make an entire industry sit up and listen.