Rumor: Tim Cook personally testing new glucose blood sugar monitor for Apple Watch

Posted:
in Apple Watch
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook is said to have been spotted on his company's corporate headquarters wearing a new, unannounced Apple Watch accessory that could be used to measure a user's blood sugar levels in an non-intrusive fashion.




Citing an unnamed source, CNBC reported on Thursday that Cook himself was wearing the prototype device. It's unknown whether it is an Apple-made piece of equipment, or something created in collaboration with a medical device maker.

The report also said that Cook even publicly discussed the device during an appearance at the University of Glasgow back in February. He said the device helped him understand how his body reacted to the foods he eats, and allowed him to keep his blood sugar more constant.

"I've been wearing a continuous glucose monitor for a few weeks," Cook said without mentioning connectivity to the Apple Watch. "I just took it off before coming on this trip."

The rumor is the latest in a line of reports claiming that the next-generation Apple Watch, expected to arrive this fall, could include support for glucose monitoring in some fashion. Earlier this week, another report said that Apple is also planning to include support for swappable smart bands that could add new functionality to the Apple Watch if a user desires.




Apple's embrace of glucose technology is expected to be non-invasive, measuring through the skin with advanced sensors. By potentially selling it as a separate band, Apple could potentially receive Food and Drug Administration approval for the accessory without the need to have the same certification for the Apple Watch hardware itself.

Apple has been keen to market the Apple Watch Series 2 as a fitness device, since it's now fully waterproof and supports GPS for distance-based activities like running. However its current health tracking only operate off of motion and heart rate.

Cook himself said in an interview earlier this month that the Apple Watch helped him shed 30 pounds by encouraging him to be active.

A so-called "Series 3" Apple Watch could arrive this September, alongside an anticipated revamp of the iPhone lineup, headlined by a completely redesigned "iPhone 8" model with a premium price tag. Last year, the Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 1 models debuted alongside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
GeorgeBMac
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,827member
    So I wonder if this is a 3rd party device or something Apple developed? And is it something that requires the Watch? Seems odd that Cook would mention if it was an unannounced Apple product. 
    repressthis
  • Reply 2 of 43
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Where did they source the Cook quote? 
  • Reply 3 of 43
    “Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook is ... wearing an Apple Watch accessory that could be used to measure a user's blood sugar levels in an insanely intrusive fashion." "I've been wearing a continuous glucose monitor for a few weeks," Cook said without mentioning connectivity to the Apple Watch. "I just took it off before coming on this trip. The stabbing agony in my groin was just too much.”
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 4 of 43
    allmypeopleallmypeople Posts: 371member
    Lost me at "selling it as a separate band" ONE WATCH TO RULE THEM ALL! Keep packing in the features!
    calirepressthisireland
  • Reply 5 of 43
    thttht Posts: 3,110member
    Lost me at "selling it as a separate band" ONE WATCH TO RULE THEM ALL! Keep packing in the features!
    I think they've long made the decision to separate functions that require FDA approval processes from the Watch, so the Watch can ship according to Apple's schedule, while the smart bands that require FDA approval processes can just percolate until they are ready.

    The sensor in the current Apple Watch supposedly can measure blood oxygen levels, they just haven't turned it on. Either it was accurate for a signification fraction of users, it's medical function requiring FDA approval, or both, and Apple decided not to turn it on.

  • Reply 6 of 43
    jamiemjamiem Posts: 2member
    Apple doesn't talk about unannounced products, so I doubt Tim would comment on something in development. He likely was wearing a Dexcom G5, which works with Apple Watch and has been around for a while. My guess is he was using it to understand CGMs, which is something Apple hopes to replicate, judging from the rumor mill. But the Dexcom CGM is invasive, if only minimally—an electrical wire the width of two human hairs is inserted into your skin. It connects to a transmitter that sends the results to your iPhone and Apple Watch. With any luck, what Apple is developing is a non-invasive sensor, although I find this unlikely—if the technology were available, you can bet it would be coming from major CGM players like Dexcom or Medtronic that have been doing this stuff for more than 10 years. That Apple could leapfrog them with a non-invasive sensors seems highly unlikely...but we diabetics can hope. And no Mick Mulvaney, I did not develop diabetes because I was a person who "who sits home, drinks sugary drinks, doesn’t exercise, eats poorly, and gets diabetes." I got it at the age of 14 in the middle of cross-country season.
    fastasleeprepressthischiapscooter63anantksundaramfotoformatbestkeptsecretSpamSandwichstompy
  • Reply 7 of 43
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,024member
    Not sure what to make of this.

    Realistically, if news broke that Apple had a non-invasive glucose monitor actually working right now then their stock should soar to well over $200 in short order. This would easily be a $100 billion market for Apple. It would literally be another game-changer like the iPhone.
    calipalominejbdragonfastasleeprepressthischiamuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 8 of 43
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Pretty obvious where the Watch is going. It may be a band today but part of the Watch eventually.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,770member
    [...]
    "I've been wearing a continuous glucose monitor for a few weeks," Cook said without mentioning connectivity to the Apple Watch. "I just took it off before coming on this trip."
    [...]
    The rumor is the latest in a line of reports claiming that the next-generation Apple Watch, expected to arrive this fall, could include support for glucose monitoring in some fashion. 
    [...]
    Apple's embrace of glucose technology is expected to be non-invasive, measuring through the skin with advanced sensors. By potentially selling it as a separate band, Apple could potentially receive Food and Drug Administration approval for the accessory without the need to have the same certification for the Apple Watch hardware itself.
    1. I doubt it will be part of the Watch or a band, otherwise why would he say he took it off?
    2. It is virtually impossible to be part of the Watch because the only way to read glucose non-invasively is to examine the blood on a capillary level and that requires a sensor on one side and transmitter on the other. They have to be in very close proximity, not clear across the width of your arm. You are trying to read the blood inside a capillary not the blood in the skin which would result in a false reading.
    3. I expect it is a separate BT earpiece which positions the two sides of the detector on either side of the earlobe and communicates with the Watch, which is why he took it off. He is not going to reveal an unannounced product.
    jony0fastasleepradarthekat
  • Reply 10 of 43
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    The unnamed source is obviously Jim Cramer 
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 11 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,687member
    Lost me at "selling it as a separate band" ONE WATCH TO RULE THEM ALL! Keep packing in the features!
    Putting features in a band is part of packing in the features. There's a large area that can be utilized by sensors in the band… or are you wanting to use it as a pocket watch?
  • Reply 12 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,687member
    My first thought was how this could be utilized by everyone with notifications of both high and low blood sugar that could positively affect diets and even keep Type II from arising at all.
    palomine
  • Reply 13 of 43
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,770member
    Soli said:
    My first thought was how this could be utilized by everyone with notifications of both high and low blood sugar that could positively affect diets and even keep Type II from arising at all.
    Normal people have high blood sugar after eating. What matters is how quickly is returns to normal levels. Would be good for low blood sugar though.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 14 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,687member
    volcan said:
    Soli said:
    My first thought was how this could be utilized by everyone with notifications of both high and low blood sugar that could positively affect diets and even keep Type II from arising at all.
    Normal people have high blood sugar after eating. What matters is how quickly is returns to normal levels. Would be good for low blood sugar though.
    Sure, but couldn't it register a spike and then gauge an impending threat level based on how long it takes to normalize?
    palominechiapscooter63
  • Reply 15 of 43
    thttht Posts: 3,110member
    volcan said:
    [...]
    "I've been wearing a continuous glucose monitor for a few weeks," Cook said without mentioning connectivity to the Apple Watch. "I just took it off before coming on this trip."
    [...]
    The rumor is the latest in a line of reports claiming that the next-generation Apple Watch, expected to arrive this fall, could include support for glucose monitoring in some fashion. 
    [...]
    Apple's embrace of glucose technology is expected to be non-invasive, measuring through the skin with advanced sensors. By potentially selling it as a separate band, Apple could potentially receive Food and Drug Administration approval for the accessory without the need to have the same certification for the Apple Watch hardware itself.
    1. I doubt it will be part of the Watch or a band, otherwise why would he say he took it off?
    2. It is virtually impossible to be part of the Watch because the only way to read glucose non-invasively is to examine the blood on a capillary level and that requires a sensor on one side and transmitter on the other. They have to be in very close proximity, not clear across the width of your arm. You are trying to read the blood inside a capillary not the blood in the skin which would result in a false reading.
    3. I expect it is a separate BT earpiece which positions the two sides of the detector on either side of the earlobe and communicates with the Watch, which is why he took it off. He is not going to reveal an unannounced product.

    1. The articles should lead you to believe he took it off because he was in a public place, and not on the Apple campus. The rumor refers to people seeing it on him on Apple's campus. I'm surprised by this I would think this is the kind of thing that would be restricted to only certain parts of Apple's campus and shouldn't be seen by anyone who would discuss it outside.
    2. Very long history of stagnant development with spectroscopy measurements of blood glucose. Like Force Touch and Touch ID, maybe Apple has the right software and hardware that can actually make it reliable. It's like reading fingerprints. Shine a light (a laser) onto the skin, measure the light on the skin, and identify the spectrographic signature of blood glucose in the measurement. The measurement technology has not been good enough to reliably read human level blood glucose signatures. A lot of people say that if it was possible, pharma companies would have done it already. But I would speculate that Apple is a lot better at the chip design and software design needed to make this work than pharma companies or universities, so they may have a better shot at it.
    3. I think Cook's reference, at U of Glasgow, to wearing a CGM was a reference to an existence iOS compatible CGM as AI speculates. The sketchy and vague rumor of people seeing Cook wearing a CGM that was connected to the Watch is sufficiently vague and could either mean connected to the Watch through wireless or a smart band of some kind. Who knows. It's coming sooner or later. If Apple is serious about doing it, their advantage is that they can put more money and more smart people on it then what's been done over the past 30 years.
    fastasleeppscooter63[Deleted User]
  • Reply 16 of 43
    palominepalomine Posts: 361member
    Holy COW I hope this comes out soon!

    i doubt it is just somebody else's product, really, why would he do that? That is even more unlikely than him revealing an new product.
    i think it is coming soon!

    yeah, I love Apple. They are a great company
  • Reply 17 of 43
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,024member
    He could also be wearing an Apple prototype sensor along with a traditional invasive glucose monitor so they could compare the accuracy between the devices.
    palominefastasleepradarthekatireland[Deleted User]SpamSandwichjagnut
  • Reply 18 of 43
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,770member
    tht said:
    1. The articles should lead you to believe he took it off because he was in a public place, and not on the Apple campus. The rumor refers to people seeing it on him on Apple's campus. I'm surprised by this I would think this is the kind of thing that would be restricted to only certain parts of Apple's campus and shouldn't be seen by anyone who would discuss it outside.
    Agreed, but it also indicates that it is probably a separate unit and not part of the Watch or the band because if it was, most likely it would be hidden from view anyway.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,770member
    Soli said:
    Sure, but couldn't it register a spike and then gauge an impending threat level based on how long it takes to normalize?
    You would probably need to tell the app when you ate and maybe what and how much. For example, after a Thanksgiving meal your blood sugar stays high for a long time.

    A sleep monitoring component could be helpful because after 8 hours it is normal for your blood sugar to be on the low side, so it wouldn't bother notifying you.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 20 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,687member
    volcan said:
    Soli said:
    Sure, but couldn't it register a spike and then gauge an impending threat level based on how long it takes to normalize?
    You would probably need to tell the app when you ate and maybe what and how much. For example, after a Thanksgiving meal your blood sugar stays high for a long time.

    A sleep monitoring component could be helpful because after 8 hours it is normal for your blood sugar to be on the low side, so it wouldn't bother notifying you.
    If it comes to that, that's a solution, but couldn't it infer that you are eating when your blood sugar spikes between measurements? Seems like this is a relatively simple algorithm since it's based on going above a certain value or percentage from both a personal normal range and statistical average range, and then recording where the levels are after a liner durations have passed.
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