Apple may be one step closer to introducing no-prick glucose monitoring to the Apple Watch.
The journey to developing no-prick glucose monitoring at Apple can be traced back to 2010 when Steve Jobs had Apple buy RareLight, a blood glucose monitoring startup. In 2019, Apple filed a patent application for a non-invasive glucose monitoring system. It is now being reported that the system is currently being tested in clinical trials.
The technology is based on infrared spectroscopy, a system that works by shining a light through the skin to measure glucose levels. As reported, results have been promising and development has reached the proof-of-concept stage.
The introduction of no-prick glucose tracking would be a revolutionary moment for technology and healthcare. It would eliminate the need for the painful experience of pricking the skin to measure glucose, would help people with diabetes monitor their conditions and would alert potentially prediabetic people.
However, there is a long journey ahead before this new method of glucose monitoring hits the market. The technology is currently tabletop-size and would need to be miniaturized to fit the smaller form of an Apple Watch. Additionally, there is no guarantee yet that the results would be precise or reliable.
The first Apple Watch was released in 2015 and quickly became the best-selling wearable device. It has been increasingly branded as a health device and new generations of the Apple Watch can now track ovulation cycles and spot low blood oxygen levels and signs of atrial fibrillation.