Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, is “actively testing” an Apple Watch-connected blood glucose monitor according to a new report published Thursday by CNBC — adding fuel to the fire of previous reports that the tech-giant is working to develop a revolutionary medical diagnostic tool exclusively for diabetes patients.
While stopping short of providing additional details about the nature or efficacy of the apparatus, the CNBC report vaguely suggests that Cook’s blood glucose tracker is a standalone peripheral that merely connects to his Apple Watch via Bluetooth — although it may or may not be physically mounted within close proximity to the Apple Watch’s main chassis. Specifically, sources indicated that the tracker is “on the Watch,” which implies that it either attaches directly onto the chassis, or is positioned somewhere on the band. It does not appear, at this time, that the utility is physically ingrained within the Apple Watch’s chassis itself.
Rumors surrounding Cupertino’s development of an Apple Watch-connected blood glucose monitor first surfaced last month, when CNBC revealed that Apple has a “secret team” of as many as 200 PhDs and biomedical engineers actively working on the project. While the team’s goal is to eventually develop an in-built, chassis-encompassed blood glucose monitor, the variant that Cook is testing could potentially be a prototype of the unit meant to develop algorithms and be assessed for efficacy and reliability prior to the tech-giant’s engineers sitting down and figuring out a way to integrate the technology into a future-generation of the wearable.
Alternatively, as an even more recent report from BGR suggested, Apple could try to integrate its blood glucose monitor into a quote-unquote “modular Apple Watch band,” which the company could theoretically sell as an after-market accessory for the Apple Watch. BGR, in its report, also echoed the sentiments of earlier rumors that Apple could create a myriad of these so-called “modular bands” for the Apple Watch, encompassing a variety of user-customizable ‘add on’ features such as additional battery power, external speakers, a camera, and much more, depending on a user’s individual interests and needs.
CNBC’s report is otherwise scant on details, however if Apple is indeed working on a blood glucose monitor of some kind, the utility will ultimately stand to be positioned a medical diagnostic tool and would have to go through the usual processes of extensive testing, clearance, and certification by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) before Apple could market and sell it as a commercial product.
As far as the future of Apple Watch is pertinent: the company could potentially unveil an Apple Watch Series 3 as early as this fall, according to rumors, alongside the iPhone 8 flagship and its 7s/7s Plus counterparts — although we’ll just have to wait and see about that since the Apple Watch Series 2 is still ripe for the picking.