Apple’s glucose monitor better delivered via AirPods than the watch

“Media reports suggest Apple is aggressively pursuing the creation of a non-invasive blood glucose monitor,” Doug Clinton, managing partner at Loup Ventures, writes for CNBC.

“The most obvious device to leverage this monitor may seem to be the Apple Watch; however, as we wrote two weeks ago, we think that, long term, AirPods are a more important product for Apple than the Apple Watch, because biological data available in the ear is much richer than the data available from the wrist,” Clinton writes. “This makes AirPods a better candidate to be Apple’s glucose-monitoring solution in the future.”

“We believe that movement of the wrist during activity is a key factor in reducing accurate biological readings, a problem that impacts ear-based wearables significantly less,” Clinton writes. “We also believe that the ear offers the possibility to collect better data, which the aforementioned study seems to confirm, and richer data, because of the semi-internal nature of the ear canal, proximity to the brain, and greater blood flow in the area.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s been working on ear canal-based biometrics for some time now. For example, an Apple patent application filed on May 13, 2008 described, “From infrared radiation in the user’s ear, sensors… can detect minute temperature variations due to the user’s heart beats. Heart rate can be calculated based on time between beats and the user’s temperature can be set as the ‘DC Component’ (or average or median value) of the detected temperature distribution. Other sensors can also be used for tracking the same physiological metrics or different physiological metrics…”

Apple secret team reportedly working holy grail for treating diabetes; initially envisioned by Steve Jobs – April 12, 2017
Apple patent details Apple Watch smart bands – January 24, 2017
Emails between Apple and FDA hint at future plans – December 1, 2016
Analyst: Apple smartbands are a part of the Apple Watch’s future – April 8, 2016
Apple patent application hints at Apple Watch ‘Smartbands’ utilizing hidden 6-pin data connector – February 20, 2016
Why Apple’s iWatch won’t measure glucose levels – February 26, 2014
Apple patent application describes measuring workout activity from inside user’s ear canal – November 19, 2009


  1. But they’ll need to reconsider who’s ear canal they are designing for.. because currently their ear canal model is obviously some big old white man.. because no apple ear device has ever fit in my ears, ever…

    all way way way too big.

    1. The airpods do not fit well in all “big old white man” ears. My officemate took his back because they fell out too easily.

      For personal items like ear buds, Apple should consider offering them in at least a couple of sizes. In addition, Apple might want to consider built-in or add-on silicone features or skins to add comfort and hold them in place more securely.

      Some silicone skin designs could promote sound isolation for noisier environments, although there would likely be safety concerns when using them while walking, jogging, etc.

    1. That might not be popular with some people on this forum. They would have to remove the Samsung device every time that they wanted to speak.

      Yep, if you think that I am talking about you…I am!

  2. A non-invasive blood glucose monitor would be huge! It’s been done before; however, that solution was very expensive. If Apple can do this and keep the cost reasonable, this will sell like hot cakes.

    It was implied that this was a goal in the first Apple Watch but perhaps it wasn’t quite ready. If Tim Cook can deliver on this, he may be worth keeping around for a while. Otherwise, he should be fired.

  3. I’m Type 2 and would invest in an AppleWatch if they can deliver glucose measurements.

    While I understand movement related problems we might be able to solve that problem by taking the measurement when the watch detects it is stable for a few seconds, or maybe we can take a couple seconds to hold the watch still. That should be a reasonably simple fix.

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