While smartwatch makers have struggled for years to find a proper place for smartwatches, Apple pretty much created that space with a focus on health-related features that mere smart fitness bands couldn’t offer. That has mostly revolved around functions for measuring and detecting heart-related conditions but a new report suggests that Samsung and Apple may be moving on to a much-needed functionality that will save potentially thousands of users from having to painfully draw multiple times a day.
One of the long-time dreams of the medical technology industry has been to develop a non-invasive way to measure people’s blood glucose levels. Although there are home kits for doing that, those still require pricking the finger to draw a blood sample. This method is cited as one of the primary reasons why diabetics do not regularly monitor their blood sugar levels, which could have fatal consequences.
At one point, Alphabet’s Verily Life Sciences subsidiary was looking into using smart contact lenses for that purpose. While less painful, the process is still inconvenient for anyone who has never worn contacts before. ETNews reports that Samsung and Apple may have finally come upon the most convenient and painless option of all.
According to the report, Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Watch 3 may have a function to measure blood glucose levels using an optical sensor, somewhat similar to what is used to measure blood oxygen levels. Research conducted by MIT and Samsung hints that the smartwatch may make use of Raman spectroscopy that measures the vibration of substance molecules when light is shone on them.
Samsung won’t be alone in that thrust, though, as the Apple Watch Series 7 might also have a similar feature, though perhaps using a different technology or principle. Before potential beneficiaries of these functions get too excited, however, it must be remembered that these features still need to get approval from each and every country’s regulatory agencies before they’re enabled there.