Apple CEO Tim Cook Spotted Testing Apple Watch-Connected Glucose Monitor

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has allegedly been spotted testing a prototype glucose monitor that's connected to his Apple Watch, reports CNBC. Cook, who is said to be aiming to understand how his blood sugar is affected by food and exercise, has been seen wearing the device around the Apple Campus.

Cook also mentioned the glucose monitor in a February meeting with students at the University of Glasgow. It's not clear if the device he spoke of in Glasgow is the same one he's been wearing around the Apple campus.
"I've been wearing a continuous glucose monitor for a few weeks," he said. "I just took it off before coming on this trip."

Cook explained that he was able to understand how his blood sugar responded to foods he was eating. He made modifications to keep his blood sugar more constant.
Current continuous glucose monitoring systems require a small sensor that's worn under the skin to monitor glucose levels. Advanced systems from Dexcom include a transmitter, which can display glucose information directly on an iPhone or Apple Watch.

An iPhone-connected Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring system

Rumors have suggested glucose monitoring is the next major health issue Apple is aiming to tackle. The company is said to have a team of biomedical engineers working on developing sensors for non-invasively monitoring blood sugar levels. Apple is allegedly working on a continuous monitoring solution that would not require an under-skin sensor.

Apple's glucose testing is reportedly far enough along that the company has started conducting feasibility trials at clinical sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, and consultants have been hired to sort out regulatory issues.

According to a recent rumor from BGR, Apple could be planning to add a non-invasive glucose monitoring sensor to a future version of the Apple Watch, perhaps through the addition of a smart band that would add functionality to the Apple Watch without requiring the sensor to be built into the watch.

Cook has said in the past that Apple does not want to put the Apple Watch through the FDA approval process, something that would need to happen for Apple to introduce a glucose monitor, so a modular add-on smart band could be an ideal solution for adding more advanced health tracking features without subjecting the Apple Watch itself to FDA oversight.

Article Link: Apple CEO Tim Cook Spotted Testing Apple Watch-Connected Glucose Monitor
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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Interesting to hear they are testing various methods. It will be a while, but there's no doubt it's coming for the Apple Watch eventually.
 

Gherkin

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2004
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this seems really cool if you have some medical condition where you need to monitor your glucose level.

Little worried though that otherwise healthy people will start becoming obsessive over stuff like this when it's not really necessary to be monitoring your glucose at all times.
 

BMcCoy

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2010
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They may be trying to avoid FDA on the watch, but any glucose monitoring 'device', even if built within a strap, will need some serious regulatory approvals, trials and evidence before it could be used for medical purposes.

And I hope they're doing that, because this is really exciting.
 

Westside guy

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Oct 15, 2003
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Current continuous glucose monitoring systems require a small sensor that's worn on the stomach under the skin to monitor glucose levels.
Just to nit-pick... it can be worn anywhere. Since it's invasive, it needs to be moved around regularly since the skin gets irritated and scars slightly at each insertion point.

Source: My wife, who's a diabetes educator, type II diabetic, and has worn various glucose monitors (and insulin pumps, for that matter) for much of the past decade.
 

Porco

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
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this seems really cool if you have some medical condition where you need to monitor your glucose level.

Little worried though that otherwise healthy people will start becoming obsessive over stuff like this when it's not really necessary to be monitoring your glucose at all times.
As already mentioned, many people have type 2 diabetes without knowing it. It would be a transformative thing if people could be easily alerted by their Watch that they should consult their doctors because their blood glucose levels were remaining too high. It could literally extend millions of people's lives.

Of course that would be the non-invasive kind that really makes the difference, but even the more invasive kind is a step towards that goal. Also I think there are worse things for people to obsess over than data about their own health/bodies. But sure, everything in moderation and all that.
 

barkomatic

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Aug 8, 2008
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There was a study recently of an app that can indeed do just that, and within an astronomical percentage of accuracy.
I'd read about that and the app is called Cardiogram. However, I still think it's being studied so they can't inform users of problems. Hopefully someday soon though!
 

masochist

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Apr 28, 2017
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Medical and fitness uses are still the best use cases for the Apple Watch. It would be wonderful if one day it could also reliably detect heart problems before a heart attack.
It would be wonderful if one day it could also reliably track my steps and my pace when I'm out for a run (... or even a brisk walk). Yes, I've done the outdoor calibration and it's still quite inaccurate.
 
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jclo

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Dec 7, 2012
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Just to nit-pick... it can be worn anywhere. Since it's invasive, it needs to be moved around regularly since the skin gets irritated and scars slightly at each insertion point.

Source: My wife, who's a diabetes educator, type II diabetic, and has worn various glucose monitors (and insulin pumps, for that matter) for much of the past decade.
Thanks, removed that bit of text so it's clear that it can be worn anywhere.
 

Switched2aMac

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Nov 18, 2006
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I know a person who uses the Dexcom monitoring system. Amazed how accurate it is and how it notifies them of a blood sugar drop. Pretty neat, hope the Apple Watch continues to progress in the Health/Fitness area. I have my series one and love it and can't wait to see what the future holds.
 

V.K.

macrumors 6502a
Dec 5, 2007
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Toronto, Canada
Makes it clear that glucose monitoring will NOT be build into the next Apple Watch.
that much was clear regardless. This will require FDA approval which is a lengthy process. Apple won't want to tie Apple Watch release schedule to that. They'll offload this functionality to a watch band. whenever it's ready and approved they'll release it and it will most likely work even with the current generation Watch.
 
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zonk44

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2013
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I was excited to read about new Apple products from Cook that aren't just watch bands.
But it was a delusion and ended up being just a new watch band.