Apple Watch Blood Glucose Featured

Apple is working on needle-free blood glucose monitoring for the Apple Watch

We’ve been hearing rumors that blood glucose tracking is making its way to the Apple Watch in the past few release cycles now. But our wrists are still not subject to glucose monitoring – so what does it give? A new report has indicated that Apple is still working on a health tracking feature, but it’s likely a long way off.

In an exclusive presentation to Bloomberg, Apple analyst Mark Gurman takes a detailed look at Apple’s work on blood glucose monitoring. Apple recently hit a major milestone with this feature – it works. At the proof of concept stage, that is. Currently, the sensor is roughly the size of an iPhone, which is smaller than the previous model by table size. Obviously, things still need to wind down a bit before slapping the sensor on the back of the Apple smartwatch.

How is all this work done? Apple uses a silicon optical chip that performs optical absorption spectroscopy on your wrist. This means that it shines laser lights under your skin to detect your glucose concentration. It’s actually similar to how the Apple Watch actually measures heart rate or blood oxygen. But instead, the new feature will measure your blood glucose.

This feature will be especially useful for diabetics, who can take readings without stabbing themselves with a needle. But Apple wants to take things a step further. The brand aims to use the sensor to actually detect people with prediabetes, so they can seek medical advice or make lifestyle changes to avoid the condition. That’s some seriously smart health tracking from your wrist.

Apple has been working on this technology since 2010, when Steve Jobs acquired a startup that tracks blood glucose without a needle. Nearly 13 years later, Apple has made great strides in developing its health kit, but things aren’t quite right yet. With Gurman’s trusted track record, we can be very confident about this update. But monitoring blood glucose on the Apple Watch is still a few years away.