Apple Watch Could Become a Lifesaver for Diabetics

Apple is working on a way to measure blood sugar levels, potentially turning the Apple Watch into a must-have device for millions of diabetics, according to a recent report.

Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Apple Watch and other fitness trackers already help users log vital signs like heart rate, but this rumored project, first covered by CNBC citing anonymous sources, could send the Apple into a much more complicated realm of biomedical devices.

Ideally, Apple will develop a non-invasive way to measure blood sugar levels, as opposed to devices commonly used now that require need pricks. The technology could be similar to optical heart rate monitors found on many fitness trackers, which send light through the skin to measure heart rate. 

The effort to develop blood sugar-sensing technology was born from deceased Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' hope to make smartwatches that monitor vital signs.

Google is already working on a contact lens that measures glucose levels on the eyeball, CNBC's Christina Farr notes. And smaller companies like PKvitality have already developed wearable devices that can measure blood glucose through the skin, as Tom's Guide reported in January.

Althea Chang is Associate Director of Content Development for Consumer Reports and was previously a Senior Writer for Tom's Guide, covering mobile devices, health and fitness gadgets and car tech.