Future Apple Watch Rumored to Include Glucose Monitoring and Smart Bands

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 15, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple is planning major new health features for future versions of the Apple Watch, according to a new report from BGR citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans.

    The company is said to be working on implementing a new glucose monitoring feature and interchangeable smart bands, which could add new health functionality to the Apple Watch. Both features have been previously rumored in the past, but BGR suggests the functionality could be coming soon.

    In April, a CNBC report suggested Apple had a team of biomedical engineers working to develop sensors for non-invasively monitoring blood glucose, with work on the sensors far enough along that the company had started conducting feasibility trials. BGR claims Apple has hired more than 200 PhDs in the health field in the last year with the aim of "innovating in the health space" through a glucose monitoring feature that will be released in an "upcoming Apple Watch."

    The site also says Apple is working on interchangeable "smart watch bands" that would add "various functionality" to the Apple Watch, allowing Apple to introduce new features without driving the base cost of the wearable device higher. Glucose monitoring could perhaps be introduced through one of these smart bands, rather than added to the watch itself.

    A smart watch band with such functionality makes some sense, as Apple CEO Tim Cook has said previously that Apple does not want to put the Apple Watch through the FDA approval process, something that would likely be required for the introduction of a glucose monitoring feature. A standalone band would allow Apple to get the approval it needs without impacting the base device.

    Along with glucose monitoring, BGR says that an Apple Watch band that adds a camera to the watch is another possibility, as is a battery band that extends available battery life. Apple has filed multiple patents covering modular smart bands for the Apple Watch that connect to the device through the Apple Watch diagnostic port.

    While BGR says the new features will be added to an "upcoming new version of the Apple Watch," it is not clear if that means the third-generation Apple Watch rumored to be coming in the fall of 2017. Current information about that device has suggested it will be a more minor update focusing on improving battery life and performance, with few design and hardware updates.

    Article Link: Future Apple Watch Rumored to Include Glucose Monitoring and Smart Bands
  2. DNichter macrumors G3


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    I actually think this is a great idea. Would be great for individual users / use case depending on need. No reason to put the watch through FDA approval if not needed. A smart band for glucose, sleep, AIDS, whatever.
  3. blcamp macrumors regular


    May 16, 2012
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I don't want a "battery band"... if that thing starts getting hot, having something burning the circumference of your wrist is NOT a great idea.
  4. filmantopia macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2010
    Blood chemistry monitoring in the watch could make it more popular than the iPhone. If we had a device that could tell us how what we ate was immediately impacting us, or if something is 'off' with our blood signifying potential illness... wearables would become a near-necessity for everybody.
  5. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    Has BGR ever been right with Apple rumors before?
  6. Spendlove macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2015
    Cambridge UK
    The Apple Watch for me is the most exciting Apple area of development. In the future it could be capable of SO MUCH that was only science fiction just a few short years ago.

    My wallet is ready (and my blood sugar levels).
  7. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    heart sensor in the strap....and accurate HR in the gym doing weights and I'm in
  8. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    They would sell so many more based on glucose monitoring alone. It would be sweet (pun intended).
  9. nitramluap, May 15, 2017
    Last edited: May 15, 2017

    nitramluap macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2015
    There is no current non-invasive way to measure blood glucose in the medical industry - if there was, every diabetic would already be using it and we'd be using it in hospitals. We just aren't. Most of the devices floating about now are hit & miss, not very accurate and require calibrating with an actual blood sample.

    I'm not saying it's impossible that Apple might come up with it, but it's pretty damn close to impossible. Plus, I doubt Apple is going to attempt to go down the road of making the Apple Watch a 'medical grade' device - slightly more hoops to jump over there (FDA in the US for a start)... for good reason. If it's not accurate, it will cost lives.

    People who think blood glucose can be detected the same way the pulse is detected on the watch (using differential absorption of light), clearly have no understanding of physiology, physics or biochemistry... current monitors make a lot of assumptions.

    And for non-diabetics, what the hell are you going to do with the data - the signal to noise ratio shrinks even further, yet we think we're all 'well informed'. The Dunning-Kruger effect on display.
  10. chucker23n1 macrumors 68020


    Dec 7, 2014
    I'd like to see pointers for anything close to that. As far as I can tell, this would be a massive leap.
  11. WhoDaKat macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2006
    You're quoting a report from BGR? LOL Have they every posted anything other than click bait?
  12. DNichter macrumors G3


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have no knowledge on the subject, but I would think $200B in the bank allows for some heavy research and development. Maybe they figured out a new method? Who knows. Health seems to be a major focus for the company moving forward.
  13. breather macrumors member


    Jan 26, 2011
    Great. They should be focusing on building a wristwearable healthdevice with clock functionality. Then they will sell the **** out of it.
  14. rp2011 macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2010
    Yep, or add the cost to a device with a feature you may not need.
  15. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL




    Maybe not "currently" but on the cusp, so it seems like maybe Apple is potentially right there along with these other products in terms of a very near future advancement in this tech!
  16. marty1980, May 15, 2017
    Last edited: May 15, 2017

    marty1980 macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2011
    Stop! Before commenting on diabetes, you need to educate yourself on the differences between Type 1 (non-preventable auto-immune disease) vs Type 2 (typically adult onset due to unhealthy lifestyle - genetic - more common and sometimes preventable).

    Glucose monitoring on an Apple Watch would be amazing. So much better than pricking a finger every couple hours of the day. Plus, many pumps could communicate directly with the app on the watch to provide a fully automated pancreas system for insulin. It's already something that's available in other forms, but would be great to have in the Watch as an option.
  17. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    I have a Series 0. The Series 1 and 2 did not sway me to upgrade one bit. But Series 3 with Glucose monitoring? That could sway me.
  18. justiny Contributor


    Jul 28, 2008
    Fairfield, NJ
    I think you're confusing Apple with Samsung.
  19. Dimer macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2014
    With such added functionality in the watch band at least one could justify paying Apple prices for it. That is much less the case when all it amounts to is a fashion accessory!
  20. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    Non-invasive blood glucose monitoring would make the new Apple Watch an instant buy for me, a Series 2 owner. Even if that technology made the watch $150 or $200 more expensive than the Series 2, I'd still buy it in a heartbeat and I suspect many other people would do the same.
  21. ThaRuler macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2016
  22. AppleFan91 macrumors 68000


    Sep 11, 2012
    Indy, US
    Sounds kinda cool, but BGR is nothing but click bait and sensationalism. Just go there and read some of the headlines and you'll get it. You can read the articles as well, but I promise you, they aren't that good either.
  23. TallManNY macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    Also your battery getting another year older and weaker could sway you. I'm on Series 0 myself and I'm certain that Series 3 will open my wallet. Glucose monitoring would be incredibly cool. (But I'm skeptical of them being able to do it.) But still I'm sure there will be enough upgrades to convince me.
  24. McTool macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2016
  25. nitramluap macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2015
    Maybe, maybe not. No hospital uses such technology to measure blood glucose IN VIVO.

    If people are going to use the data from these to determine insulin doses, it's going to want to be AT LEAST AS ACCURATE as actually measuring the blood glucose level. If it's not, the results can be lethal in the short term, and quite harmful in the long term. And to be used for this purpose it's going to have to be FDA approved (and other regulatory bodies in other countries).

    Sometimes these things are not just about how much money you can throw at a problem, despite how much Silicon Valley believes this.

    I get it. I love tech. I'm a doctor. This would be great... but I think many in the tech world can get a little carried away sniffing their own farts.

    Tread VERY CAREFULLY Apple...

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