A new Korean report claims that the Apple Watch Series 7 will include a blood sugar sensor when it launches later this year. Such a feature for the Apple Watch has been much expected by observers, as health applications are a major selling point of Apple’s popular wearable.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has in the past said the Cupertino company would be cautious in adding medical capabilities to the device, as the need for FDA approval could hold back innovation. However, the company eventually changed its stance a bit in recent years, adding ECG functionality to the Apple Watch Series 4 in 2018, and blood oxygen saturation added to the Apple Watch Series 6 in 2020.
The American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 10% of Americans have diabetes and that over 26 million of them are undiagnosed. An Apple Watch that includes a blood sugar sensor could play a large role in prompting users to get formal testing, and if needed, treatment.
ET News claims that both the Apple Watch Series 7 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 will gain the ability to measure blood sugar when they are released later this year.
Samsung Electronics will be equipped with a blood glucose measurement function in the new smart watch ‘Galaxy Watch 4’ (tentative name) to be introduced in the second half of this year. It is a no-blood sampling method that detects the level of glucose in the blood without blood collection using an optical sensor, and is expected to contribute to the health management of the general public as well as diabetics
Not only Samsung Electronics, but also Apple is applying the blood glucose measurement function to the Apple Watch 7 to be introduced this year. With the related patent technology secured, it is focusing on ensuring reliability and stability prior to making the technology available.
It isn’t clear how the Apple Watch would measure blood glucose. While affordable home test devices that sync to the Apple Watch and iPhone are already available, they depend on small pin-pricks. An Apple Watch method would focus on non-invasive detection methods and could be achieved by using the watch’s infrared sensors.