Apple Watch May Soon Offer No-Prick Glucose Monitoring

Apple looks to be making progress in its long-running ambition to add blood glucose monitoring to the Apple Watch. According to Bloomberg, the company’s no-prick monitoring is now at the “proof-of-concept stage,” and it’s good enough to go to market once it’s smaller. The technology, which utilises lasers to detect glucose concentrations under the skin, was formerly tabletop-sized but has apparently improved to the point where an iPhone-sized wearable prototype is being developed.

According to insiders, the technology would not only assist patients with diabetes track their illnesses, but it would also ideally identify others who are prediabetic. They may then implement measures to avoid Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment. The idea has allegedly been in the works for a long time. It all started in 2010, when an unwell Steve Jobs directed his business to acquire the blood glucose monitoring startup RareLight. Apple is alleged to have kept the project hidden by running it as a supposedly separate company, Avolonte Health, but then folding it into the previously undisclosed Exploratory Design Group (XDG). CEO Tim Cook, Apple Watch hardware head Eugene Kim, and other senior executives were present.

According to Bloomberg, any real-world product will be years away. In addition, the industry has a poor track record of bringing no-prick monitors to market. Alphabet’s health unit Verily shelved plans for a smart contact lens that would have measured glucose levels via tears in 2018. In other words, even huge businesses with massive resources aren’t assured success, and it’s unclear how accurate Apple’s approach would be.

There are compelling reasons to apply this technology to wearables. The Apple Watch is widely touted as a health gadget, and it can detect indicators of atrial fibrillation, low blood oxygen levels, and ovulation cycles (as of Series 8). Non-intrusive glucose monitoring might make it a must-have tool for diabetics, since it eliminates the need for a specific instrument that penetrates your skin, such as a continuous glucose sensor that delivers data from an electrode-equipped tiny needle to an external receiver. The simple technique might offer the Apple Watch an advantage over rival smartwatches.