The next Apple Watch may add the blood glucose measurement function for diabetics

Apple appears determined to continue developing new medical and health tracking capabilities for its wearable device, with a new supply chain report claiming that a non-invasive blood glucose sensor will be added to an as-of-yet-unannounced Apple Watch Series 7 model.

A new report by ET News says that Apple will add a blood glucose measurement function to the next Apple Watch model. Not to be outdone by the Cupertino giant, Samsung is also rumored to implement this sensor in its Galaxy Watch 4, the report notes.

The next Apple Watch should arrive in the fall, while the upcoming watch from Samsung is expected to be introduced in the second half of this year, the report notes. Apple has reportedly secured the related patent technology and is now “focusing on ensuring reliability and stability prior to making the technology available.”

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The feature would permit the next Apple Watch to measure the levels of one’s blood glucose non-invasively, using just a specially crafted optical sensor.

One elusive health sensor

However, this is hardly the first time we hear about the feature.

Ahead of the original Apple Watch introduction, the rumor-mill hyperventilated with excitement at the prospect of having a noninvasive continuous glucose reader on the wrist. With every new model, however, the rumor would raise its head again. So far, nothing has materialized. The New York Times speculated three years ago that such a feature was a few years away.

Provided Apple is indeed working on such a feature—and is able to turn it into a reality—the company will have helped all watch wearers, especially diabetics, improve awareness of their general health condition. According to an American Diabetes Association study, more than out of each ten Americans have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The same study also found that more than 26 million of Americans have undiagnosed type 1 diabetes.

Health sensors galore

Apple’s been expanding the Apple Watch’s arsenal of health sensors since the original model’s introduction back in 2014. The first model launched with an optical heart rate sensor, but subsequent watches have picked up other health sensors.

Some of them include an always-on barometric altimeter for real-time elevation tracking, an electrical heart sensor for taking ECG readings and a blood oxygen sensor for taking on-demand readings of your blood oxygen (as well as background readings, day and night).