Apple Watch leads the way in health tech with latest development

Onur Demirkol
Feb 23, 2023

It has been proved multiple times that Apple Watch is not only a smartwatch but a device that offers many features in different aspects, mainly health functionalities. According to the latest news, Apple has been working on a new health monitoring technology since the Steve Jobs era.

Apple is looking to change the health monitoring world with innovation. The project aims to measure how much glucose is in the user's body, without a need of any needle or any pierces on the skin. It will detect the glucose rate in a person's body and possibly start a new multi-billion era in health monitoring. Apple Watch's latest models feature impressive health technologies including ECG and the company trusts itself on completing the project.

Diabetes is a disaease that millions of people suffer from and due to current standards, they rely on a device that tests their blood, easily but needs a poke on the skin for sample. Apple will use a chip technology known as silicon photonics and a measurement process called optical absorption spectroscopy. "The system uses lasers to emit specific wavelengths of light into an area below the skin where there is interstitial fluid — substances that leak out of capillaries — that can be absorbed by glucose. The light is then reflected back to the sensor in a way that indicates the concentration of glucose. An algorithm then determines a person's blood glucose level." per Gurman.

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg first gave the news and shared on Twitter but Christina Farr's reply showed that she had reported the news back in 2017. In Farr's report, it mentions that "Apple hired a small team of biomedical engineers to work at a nondescript office in Palo Alto, California, miles from corporate headquarters. They are part of a super secret initiative, initially envisioned by the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, to develop sensors that can noninvasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels to better treat diabetes, according to three people familiar with the matter." However, 2017 is not the start of it as Gurman mentions that the project began in 2010 when Apple purchased a startup named RareLight that touted an early approach to noninvasive blood glucose monitoring.

Apple has tested the new technology on hundreds of people in the last ten years. The company chose people who don't know if they are diabetic and people with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Scientists compared the results of Apple's technology with standard tests. It is considered to be at a proof-of-concept stage by authorized people. Right now, engineers are working on a device that is the size of an iPhone as a prototype. However, they are looking to make it a lot smaller to be able to fit into Apple Watch. There is still years of work ahead before the technology hits the market.

Apple Watch has many innovative features targeting the health of the user. Recently, Apple shared a press release that professors worldwide will include the smartwatch in their studies. Its contributions to health tech, scaling between basic usage and important studies, show its effectiveness in certain aspects. Moreover, it can also detect health issues and help people notice heart issues for further treatment. With the development of technology, the device might also be used in different studies and tests to gather more complicated information.


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