Apple is applying for a patent on technology that will be used to monitor Apple Watch users̵
7; blood sugar measurements
Illustration from Apple’s patent application
So how does Apple plan to measure a person’s blood sugar level without drawing blood? A new patent application filed by Apple with the US Patent and Trademark Office explains how. With the long-standing title “Terahertz spectroscopy and image processing in dynamic environments with performance improvements using ambient sensors“Apple plans to use absorption spectroscopy to obtain non-invasive blood glucose measurements. The goal is to use terahertz electromagnetic radiation instead of light passing through the user’s body to detect” gas, health / quality of liquid or solid materials. ”
There are some problems. Apple adds: “Integrating a gas sensor on an electronic device requires an aperture or opening to allow air to flow into the gas sensor so that the gas can be detected.” The opening used to allow airflow may reduce the device’s protection against water. In addition, blood glucose measurements must be accurate. If a small amount is lost, the user may end up taking too much insulin and having a hypoglycaemic or low blood sugar attack. This can cause the user to fail. The system designed by Apple will be able to continuously monitor a diabetic’s blood sugar levels, but not with the accuracy available to hospital patients. Bringing non-invasive blood glucose testing to the Apple Watch can also drain the device’s battery much faster than usual. For a blood glucose meter to be available on the Apple Watch, the device needs to monitor more than just gas. But it is a question of whether the watch is large enough to fit all the necessary components. The price of the Apple Watch also had to rise.
The technology discussed in the patent application can also be used to detect skin cancer and other skin problems. And while all of this sounds pretty grand, Apple has been working on non-invasive blood sugar testing for many years, and there’s no sign that the company has actually started working on this technology at all. Still, the possible payout will be huge for diabetics and Apple. Especially considering the other potential diseases that can be detected with this technology.