The next-generation Apple Watch could feature an advanced technology that would allow the device to read blood glucose levels without even drawing blood from the user. There is also word that Tim Cook’s company could be introducing smart watch bands that would all the more make the wearables powerful instruments in monitoring the health of the wearer.

Just this Monday, BGR published an exclusive story on what consumers should expect from Apple Watch Series 3. According to the news site, the Cupertino giant is very likely to introduce a game changer with this year’s line of smartwatches. This game changer could be none other than the new technology that would enable the smartwatch to monitor blood glucose levels. 

Citing an unnamed source in its report, BGR stated that Apple has its sights on the growing number of diabetics all over the world that it is determined to introduce a glucose-monitoring feature to the upcoming wearable. The site also pointed out that Samsung’s biggest rival has even hired around “200 PhDs in the past year” at a time when the company started to become very keen on innovating the health-monitoring capability of the Apple Watch. 

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This is definitely a big challenge for Apple, knowing that there are still no technologies in the medical field that monitors sugar levels in the blood without actually getting a blood sample. The only proper way to measure blood glucose as of this time is through the traditional way of venipuncture — a procedure that uses a syringe and a needle in collecting blood sample from a vein. This invasive procedure is the sole means of measuring blood sugar levels accurately, so it would be a breakthrough not only in the smartphone scene but also in the medical field if Apple is able to put out a new Apple Watch that’s capable of measuring glucose using a non-invasive technology. 

Additionally, BGR’s source shared that the iPhone 8 maker is also working on interchangeable smart watch bands that are designed to add certain functionalities to the smartwatch. The smart watch bands are expected to be sold separately, since BGR noted that Apple does not want to increase the price of the smart timepiece. This could also mean that the tech giant is planning to implement the glucose-monitoring technology using a special smart watch band instead of incorporating the technology into the watch’s body.

The smart watch bands could also make it possible for Apple to add camera functionality to the smartwatch without increasing the price tag of the device. There is also a speculation that there could be a smart watch band designed to lengthen the battery life of Apple Watch Series 3. “[Apple has] identified the right part of the body and there’s so much more they can and intend to do with the watch,” the source was quoted as saying about the watchOS-running device. 

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It’s not surprising if Apple is indeed going to launch a high-tech smartwatch this year. When it released the Apple Watch Series 2, it was very eager to market the device as a fitness companion. It even made the wearable fully waterproof and capable of GPS tracking. Unfortunately, the device’s health tracking capabilities were only limited to motion and heart rate, as pointed out by Apple Insider

Tim Cook and his team are expected to unveil Apple Watch 3 later this year. Apple has yet to confirm the rumored features and specifications thus far, so it’s best for consumers to just wait for official word from the company at this point. Should the rumors turn out to be true, however, it’s clear that the Cupertino giant is serious with transforming its smartwatch line into a series of health-centric devices.