Apple Watch patent details glucose monitoring tech

We get a look at Apple's non invasive glucose tracking
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We knew Apple was interested in glucose monitoring and now a new patent application has emerged online, potentially detailing how it plans to do it with the Apple Watch.

The patent, published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, isn't as clearly stated in its intentions as some others we've seen around FaceID and hand gestures. But there's still plenty to go on when it comes to blood sugar monitoring, particularly useful for diabetics, and other health metrics.

Read this: What's next for smartwatches

The patent is for "Reference switch architectures for noncontact sensing of substances" for an electronic device (we assume the Apple Watch but Apple is also doing health stuff with the iPhone) that can measure the concentration of a substance (e.g. glucose) in a sample (e.g. blood).

It then essentially describes a light-based, optical monitor, which passes light through the "sample" - potentially the wearer's bloodstream - and then measures absorbance of the light's energy by the "substance" - potentially glucose - comparing it to reference light to see how much it changes.

That whole setup is called absorption spectroscopy and Apple has been researching beam-splitting and measuring scattered light together with other methods, such as constant calibration, to try to improve the overall accuracy.

As per some of the earliest rumours on Apple's interest glucose monitoring last year, Apple might also be working on a standalone device as a kind of accessory to the Apple Watch. Tim Cook was rumoured to be testing a prototype of this before we got the Series 3. Will we see blood sugar tracking mentioned at the Apple Watch Series 4 announcement, due in September? We wouldn't put it past them.

Via: Apple Insider

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Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.


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