Apple Watch can now show you near real-time blood glucose readings although there is a huge catch


There are millions of insulin-dependent diabetics who would love to see Apple offer non-invasive blood glucose readings on the Apple Watch. This is a potential feature that Apple has been working on for years. Currently, diabetics have to prick themselves with a sharp tool called a lancet that draws a drop of blood. The blood is placed on a disposable and expensive test strip which has been inserted into a machine called a glucometer which reveals the diabetic’s blood glucose reading.

Insulin-dependent diabetics need to get their blood sugar reading at least three times a day

This is an important figure because the blood glucose reading is used by an insulin-dependent diabetic to determine how much insulin he/she needs to inject before sitting down for a meal. If the diabetic injects too much insulin, he/she can end up with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and pass out. If the injection contains not enough insulin, over time the disease can damage the diabetic’s organs such as the eyes and require amputations of the extremities.

The way the test is conducted now, drawing the blood drop can be extremely painful and the test strips, which can only be used once, are a hit to the wallet or purse. Apple reportedly planned on including a non-invasive blood glucose feature on the first Apple Watch released in 2015. Unfortunately, it could not get the feature working in time to be included with the original Apple Watch model and the tech giant continues to work on it today.
While not exactly the same thing, according to AppleInsider, medical device manufacturer Dexcom has created a direct-to-Apple Watch function for its G7 continuous glucose meter (CGM). The CGM previously worked with a sensor that is placed under the diabetic’s skin, usually behind the arm. The sensor sends close to real-time blood glucose readings to the diabetic’s iPhone. And those diabetics using an insulin pump could have blood glucose readings sent to the machine which would then release the correct amount of insulin.

Dexcom has announced an update to its G7 app that allows the Apple Watch to be a third-connected Bluetooth device for the sensor. In other words, you’ll be able to have Blood Glucose readings appear directly on the Apple Watch without requiring the iPhone to be nearby.

How to set up the Direct to Watch feature for the Dexcom G7 CGM

To set this up, you need to use your iPhone to update the Dexcom app to version 2.2.1 which will automatically update the built-in app on the watch. Speaking of the watch, you need to have an Apple Watch Series 6 or later running watchOS 10 or older.

Follow these directions:

  • Update the Dexcom app via the App Store.
  • Open the Dexcom app on your iPhone.
  • Walk through the getting started guide.
  • Open the updated Dexcom app on your compatible Apple Watch.
  • Tap Pair to Sensor.
  • When the popup appears with the sensor name, tap Pair.

If the Apple Watch loses its connection to the sensor, the numbers will still show up on the iPhone. In this case, a small phone icon will appear on the upper left of the screen. The Apple Watch does not support the sharing of blood glucose readings with others although that can be done with the iPhone.

Eventually, Apple will get the technology right and will include a non-invasive blood glucose sensor with the Apple Watch. Samsung is also believed to be working on a blood glucose feature for a future Galaxy Watch model. We should also point out that the Huawei Watch 4 does give users a warning when their blood glucose is too high and while the watch won’t deliver on-demand blood glucose readings, receiving a warning that your blood sugar is too high is important because it means that a diabetic should give himself a shot of insulin.
It’s not the perfect solution as far as Apple is concerned but if you are interested in having near real-time blood glucose readings available to you via your Apple Watch, check out Dexcon’s website for those in the U.S. Fill out the form on this page and a Dexcon representative will contact you.

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