Recently, Bloomberg ran a story that set the health tech sphere abuzz. Citing insider knowledge, it claimed Apple had reached a major milestone in noninvasive blood glucose monitoring that could revolutionize diabetes treatment as we know it. But although this technology is buzzworthy, you won’t see it arrive on the Apple Watch — or any consumer-grade wearable — for several years to come.
Like other kinds of emerging health tech, noninvasive blood glucose monitoring has both technical and regulatory hurdles to clear. But even if Big Tech and researchers were to figure out a viable solution tomorrow, experts say the resulting tech likely won’t replace finger prick tests. As it turns out, that may not even be the most realistic or helpful use for the technology in the first place.
Testing without a pinprick
Noninvasive blood glucose monitoring is just as it sounds. It’s measuring blood sugar levels without needing to draw blood, break skin, or cause other types of pain or trauma. There are several reasons why this tech is worth pursuing, but the big one is treating diabetes.
When you have diabetes, your body isn’t able to effectively regulate blood sugar because it either doesn’t make enough insulin (Type 1) or becomes insulin resistant over time (Type 2). To manage their condition, both Type 1 and Type 2 patients have to check their blood sugar levels via typically invasive measures like a finger prick test or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Finger prick…