Samsung, Apple said to be eyeing blood sugar monitoring tech for new smartwatches

Samsung's and Apple's blood glucose monitoring tech stands to benefit Singapore's management of diabetes at a consumer level. PHOTOS: REUTERS, EPA-EFE

SINGAPORE (HARDWAREZONE) - Tech giants Samsung and Apple could be implementing blood glucose monitoring technology into their new smartwatches.

According to Korean technology news portal ETNews, Samsung will launch three new wrist-based wearables during its Galaxy Unpacked event in the second half of 2021 with the tech. Possible names for these smartwatches are "Galaxy Watch 4" and "Galaxy Watch Active 3".

The blood glucose monitoring technology in Samsung's next Galaxy Watch might include an optical blood glucose measurement sensor that does not require the conventional pricking of a person's finger to measure sugar levels in his blood, nor implanting a sensor under the skin to monitor his blood glucose levels.

Apple is also said to be introducing a similar blood glucose monitoring tech in its next generation Apple Watch Series 7. The feature is said to be enabled by a non-invasive optical sensor designed by Apple that does not require an implant.

In addition, the Apple Watch maker reportedly secured patents for blood glucose monitoring and is now focusing efforts on "securing reliability and stability prior to commercialisation of the technology".

CNBC reported in 2017 that Apple assembled a team of 30 biomedical engineers to work on sensors to monitor blood sugar levels. The sensors can shine a light through the skin to measure glucose.

Tech site BGR made a similar claim that year stating that Apple could introduce interchangeable "smartwatch bands" with different features. One of them is said to be a "game-changing health feature".

As for Samsung, while ETNews did not quote or cite the details from a company spokesman, the Korean tech firm and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a non-invasive way of monitoring blood sugar levels, and the results were published early last year in Science Advances, a scientific journal from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Samsung's and Apple's blood glucose monitoring tech stands to benefit Singapore's management of diabetes at a consumer level, provided the smartwatches' tech gets approved for use here.

The Singapore Government spends more than $1 billion every year to manage diabetes in the population and has also declared war against diabetes since 2016. The country also expects one million Singapore residents to have diabetes by 2050.

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