Samsung might add a sensor for blood glucose monitoring to future models of the Galaxy Watch. Such a feature could be a welcome novelty for diabetics, as it could possibly eliminate the need for a needle to take blood.
The new health features could appear as part of the Galaxy Watch 4 or Galaxy Watch Active 3 in the second half of 2021, according to recent rumours from the far east. As reported by Korean site ETNews, the optical sensor will be able to measure blood glucose levels.
Samsung Galaxy Watch: optical sensor for blood glucose measurement
Various smartwatch manufacturers already rely on optical sensors, for example, to measure blood oxygen, to make collecting the necessary data as easy as possible. As the new report describes, Samsung's blood glucose measurement is said to rely on so-called Raman spectroscopy.
In highly simplified terms, light emitted from a laser can be used to detect blood glucose levels without the need for a needle prick, for example. How accurate these measurements are is currently unknown. However, there is talk of the technique having the "highest prediction accuracies among non-invasive technologies".
In addition to pricking a finger to draw blood, diabetics today can use sensors that are inserted under the skin and continuously transmit their readings to a receiver outside the body.
Other optical measurements of current smartwatches, such as oxygen levels, are usually marketed by manufacturers as fitness or wellness features. The situation is different for the ECG feature, for example in the Apple Watch Series 6, which had received the necessary clearance from various health authorities from around the world.
Blood glucose monitoring in the smartwatch: the next big thing?
Analysts expect that blood glucose monitoring in wearables could be the next big breakthrough. So it's not surprising that Samsung isn't the only one working on such technology for its smartwatch. For instance, there have also been rumours in the past that the Apple Watch will be able to measure blood sugar in the future.
According to the ETNews report, Samsung's new smartwatch is expected to be unveiled during an Unpacked event in the second half of the year. In the recent Unpacked event on January 14th, Samsung already unveiled the new devices in its S21 lineup and the Galaxy Buds Pro true-wireless headphones.