Dexcom's blood sugar monitors now sync directly with your Apple Watch — here's why it's a big deal

Apple Watch 7 heart rate monitor
(Image credit: Future)

While it would be a game-changer if the Apple Watch could read blood sugar levels on its own, users can officially experience the next best thing. Dexcom, one of the leading continuous blood glucose monitoring systems for diabetes management, announced that data collected from its latest-generation monitoring device can now sync directly with Apple Watch

Previously, users needed their iPhone nearby in order for their Apple Watch to display accurate reading information. In other words, glucose levels from a Dexcom G7 would relay first to the Dexcom iPhone app before syncing with the Apple Watch version of app. With this new Direct to Apple Watch feature, the same Dexcom monitor can transmit blood sugar readings via Bluetooth to users' wrists more seamlessly, cutting out the middle man.

This means that the 1.7 million-plus global Dexcom users won't need to worry about their iPhone being with them and charged just to check their glucose levels. The additional feature provides a level of freedom and flexibility not available before, even to users with LTE-enabled watches. 

When I interviewed two of my friends with Type 1 diabetes about how they use their Apple Watch for glucose monitoring, both said having the Dexcom complication on their watch face was invaluable. Not only does the app show a user’s current glucose levels and general glucose trends at a glance, but it'll alert them of any urgent changes as well. Then, the user can make insulin adjustments accordingly, whether it's with an insulin pump or manual injections.

Dexcom data is compatible with Apple Health, so users can view their blood sugar information alongside their other health metrics like sleep, cycling tracking and activity. This offers a unified health dashboard with an option to share that data with health providers through an eligible health system. If you're caring for someone with diabetes, you can assign their Health app data and alerts to be shared with you, too.

Diabetes is a condition that requires rather frequent oversight, but with proper information, symptoms can be managed. There are a number of different instant insulin reading and administration technology providers, but the added convenience of doing so through the Apple Watch is exclusive to Dexcom. 

That said, there are a few other prerequisites for using Direct to Apple Watch. Users must download the Dexcom G7 app version 2.1, have Apple Watch Series 6 or later running watchOS 10 or later, and an iPhone running iOS 17 or later. The feature is only available now to users in the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland, with additional markets launching later this month.

Given the timing of this announcement, it doesn't seem likely that the Apple Watch Series 10 expected this fall will have native blood glucose monitoring (not that we we were necessarily convinced such an upgrade would be coming to the upcoming watch.) But we have heard rumors and spotted patents related to smartwatches that can read blood sugar levels non-invasively. Samsung is one company in particular believed to be making progress with this kind of innovative health tech, and chances are, Apple isn't too far behind.

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Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.