Painless Glucose Monitoring For Apple Watch?
For millions of users around the globe, the Apple Watch's blood and heart monitoring features have been extremely useful in helping them keep track of their health conditions. Now, sufferers of diabetes would hopefully soon be able to keep track of their blood glucose levels with the help of their Apple Watch.
Apple is reportedly making major progress towards developing a non-invasive blood glucose monitoring system for the Apple Watch. The project has been internally dubbed "E5" and is part of Apple's Exploratory Design Group, which has been underway for over a decade by now. Bloomberg has claimed that Apple aims to create a blood monitoring system that measures glucose levels without the need to prick the skin for blood samples. This would of course benefit the approximately 10% of Americans who have diabetes, as the traditional methods for glucose monitoring require the skin to be poked with a needle for a blood sample. They can also use patches that are inserted into the skin and need to be replaced.
Apple's system would reportedly use "silicone photonics" and "optical absorption spectroscopy". Basically, sensors within the Apple Watch would emit specific wavelengths of light into an area below the skin where there is interstitial fluid that can be absorbed by glucose. The light is then reflected back into the sensor in a way that reveals the concentration of glucose, an algorithm can then determine the wearer's blood glucose level. This technology could be a game changer for diabetic sufferers, as well as the healthcare industry in general. On top of this, adding a non-invasive blood glucose monitoring system to the Apple Watch would make Apple a leading figure in healthcare, and make the Apple Watch a must-have device for millions of diabetic people.
It's important to bear in mind that Apple's system is reportedly in the proof-of-concept stage, and although the company believes the technology is realistic, it still needs to be "shrunk down to a more practical size". Engineers are developing an iPhone-sized prototype that straps to a person's bicep. Bloomberg said that there are still years of work ahead, but Apple's regulatory team is already considering getting government approval for the system.