Glucose Sensing unlikely to be included in first generation iWatch

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The iWatch, Apple’s long rumored smartwatch, will reportedly feature a plethora of biomedical sensors to keep track of your health, and help you stay fit. A report from Network World claims that a glucose sensing, originally rumored to be included in the iWatch, is unlikely to find its way in the first version of the smartwatch.

The report argues that non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology is still in its infancy, and it’s to early for it to be included in a mainstream consumer product. To further explain this argument, Network World takes the example of non-invasive CGM device called the HG1-c.

Employing a technology called Raman spectroscopy, the HG1-c was able to measure users’ glucose levels by transmitting a pulse of light through the skin, thereby causing glucose molecules to vibrate. An optic sensor then detected the light reflected off of these molecules, whereupon the device analyzed the resulting “fingerprint” and returned a glucose reading.

It points out that the HG1-c wasn’t small enough, it was meant to be worn across the abdomen and weighed 5 ounces. The wearable device also had other limitations like not being able to work effectively in sunlight, requiring a gel to be applied on the skin, and performance being affected by body hair, and skin color. If these limitations weren’t enough, many experts have even questioned the effectiveness of current non-invasive glucose monitoring techniques.

Apple has hired ex-employees of the now defunct company that made the HG1-c. Combine that with the Apple’s other recent hires, and we have enough evidence that Apple’s exploring these areas, just that if an iWatch does come this year, it might not have glucose monitoring. Even if the company has the tech figured out, the iWatch could take as much as 18 months to win an FDA approval.

Apple is said to use the multitude of sensors on the rumored iWatch to get data into Healthbook — an iOS 8 app the company is working. The app will monitor your most important health statistics like steps taken, calories burned, weight lost and more. Besides basic fitness information, the Healthbook app will reportedly also track vital signs like blood pressure, and heart rate.

For a fitness focused device, how important do you think glucose monitoring is? Let us know in the comments below.

[via Network World]