Apple plans faster Apple Watch with display upgrade, future glucose sensor

Apple is preparing new Apple Watch models and health features, featuring display and speed upgrades, and, for future models, an extreme sports edition, body temperature and blood glucose sensors, and more.

The Blood Oxygen sensor employs LEDs, along with photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch Series 6.
The Blood Oxygen sensor employs LEDs, along with photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch Series 6.

Mark Gurman and Debby Wu for Bloomberg:

The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is planning to refresh the line this year — with a model likely dubbed the Apple Watch Series 7 — by adding a faster processor, improved wireless connectivity and an updated screen, according to people with knowledge of the plans. Next year the company plans to update the main Apple Watch alongside a successor for the lower-end Apple Watch SE and a new version targeting extreme sports athletes.

Apple had previously aimed to put a body temperature sensor in this year’s model, but that is now more likely to be included in the 2022 update. The blood-sugar sensor, which would help diabetics monitor their glucose levels, is unlikely to be ready for commercial launch for several more years.

For this year’s model, Apple has tested thinner display borders and a new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the front cover. The new Watch is likely to be slightly thicker overall, but not in a way that’s noticeable to the user.

The extreme sports model, described by some inside Apple as either an “explorer” or “adventure” edition, was in development for release as early as this year, but it is now more likely to launch in 2022… Blood sugar monitoring has been long in the works at Apple and would be a feature thus far unrivaled by competitors… Users typically need to prick their finger to draw blood for an accurate glucose test, but Apple is aiming for a non-invasive solution that can analyze blood through the skin.

MacDailyNews Take: If* non-invasive blood glucose monitoring is achieved, Apple Watch would become the essential device for hundreds of millions of people with diabetes.

According to the International Diabetes Federation:

International Diabetes Federation facts: Number of people with diabetes worldwide

*It’s a big “IF.” Non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring would indeed be the “holy grail for treating diabetes.

7 Comments

  1. I love my Apple Watch. I haven’t worn another watch – even though I own many – since I got it. I especially love using it in the gym. I leave my phone in the truck and hook my AirPods to it. Perfect for music, timing my rest / work, and keeping track of my heart rate. I can’t imagine life without it.

    1. Obviously for millennials with a limited concentration span not to miss opportunities, you’d need to see those seconds flipping around 1/100 sec faster

  2. Blood glucose readings address the cost issue of multiple testing per day. For many people the test strips are not cheap and the patient doesn’t often get when they should. At cost of, say, 50¢ per strip testing your blood 5 or 6 times a day gets expensive for many – and provides the financial justification for many.

    That’s in addition to the joy of sticking your finger often every day.

    The additional factor on the cost side will be insurance companies who discover savings if they provide an Watch to customers who are heavy test strip users.

    I think a “Testing Watch” will be a huge seller and, most importantly, will pull non-Apple customers/patients into the Apple fold,

    1. Senseonics Holdings has an implantable blood glucose device with a transmitter that can be used up to 180 days (in Europe) with a smartphone app to read the blood glucose information. That definitely beats the finger-prick method of reading. We don’t know how accurate AppleWatch will be or will it be approved by the medical association. I’m still having a difficult time believing Apple can pull off what other companies have tried for years to do. Non-invasive monitoring using an AppleWatch seems like something too good to be true. For all those diabetics out there, I hope some company creates a non-invasive device that reads blood glucose levels accurately even if it isn’t Apple.

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