Apple Watch Series 8 health sensors might include blood glucose monitoring

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The Blood Oxygen sensor employs LEDs, along with photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch Series 6.
Blood glucose monitoring could be a major change in Apple Watch Series 8.
Photo: Apple

Rumors that Apple Watch 7 would include be able to sense the wearer’s blood glucose didn’t pan out. But Apple is reportedly collaborating with a pair of Asian companies to add non-invasive blood sugar monitoring to the 2022 model.

This would add to the already lengthy list of health-monitoring features available in Apple’s current wearable.

Blood glucose monitoring could be a major change in Apple Watch Series 8

Roughly one in 10 Americans is diabetic, and easy, noninvasive blood sugar monitoring is something of a holy grail for monitoring technology. It would help keep Apple’s wearable ahead of its competitors.

Apple Watch Series 8 might include short-wavelength infrared LED sensors developed by Ennostar and TAS capable of detecting a wearer’s blood glucose level, according to a report by Digitimes. The sensors also would monitor the user’s blood oxygen level and heart rate, two features available on both Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 7.

The short-wavelength infrared LED sensors under development reportedly will be ready to use in 2022, apparently in time for Apple Watch Series 8.

Apple’s health push continues

While it didn’t turn up in Series 7 as rumors indicated, plenty of evidence shows Apple plans to add blood glucose monitoring to its wearables. The company won a patent for using spectroscopy as a sensor, using tech similar to the ones supposedly in development.

This falls completely in line with Apple’s long-term strategy of building health monitoring features into its wearables. As noted, over the years, the company added hardware capable of administering electrocardiograms and checking blood-oxygen levels. Apple also thinks AirPods pack “all kinds of potential” for health monitoring.