Our smartwatches and fitness trackers have revealed certain data about ourselves that we might not have previously known, thanks to its built-in sensors like the heart rate monitor. Naturally the functionality of such devices is expected to expand in the future, and last we heard, Apple had plans to introduce non-invasive glucose monitoring to the Apple Watch.

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While the monitor in question is said to be years away from being made a reality, there is evidence to suggest that Apple is interested in the idea at the very least. This is according to a recently discovered patent (via AppleInsider) in which it shows Apple exploring the idea for a non-invasive method of monitoring the user’s glucose levels.

Based on the patent, it describes an optical system that uses absorption spectroscopy that can determine the concentration (such as glucose) of a substance by applying light to a sample. As light passes through the substance, the substance will absorb energy based on the wavelengths emitted, which in turn changes the light’s properties upon exit, which ultimately will be able to tell how concentrated a substance is.

While it sounds interesting and promising, as AppleInsider notes, existing scientific methods of identifying the makeup of a sample using short-wavelength infrared mid-wavelength infrared have not been successfully applied to glucose monitoring. That being said, there is no guarantee that this method will be used in Apple’s rumored glucose monitor, but at the very least it shows that Apple is interested and is actively exploring the idea.

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