Polar: Future smartwatches could measure blood sugar levels with a unique approach
Measuring blood sugar levels is beyond the capabilities of modern smartwatches, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series and the Apple Watch Series 7. While there are non-invasive blood glucose tests, no company has managed to integrate the functionality within a wearable. Afon Technology claims that it could have a diabetes watch on sale by 2022, but it has not shown a working prototype since 2019.
While Apple is interested in bringing such a technology to market, so is Polar, which sells smartwatches like the Ignite 2 and Vantage M2. According to the Finnish Research Impact Foundation, Polar is developing an 'electro-plasmonic chip' with the intention of integrating it within a smartwatch. In short, the chip will measure blood sugar levels via sweat. Polar hopes to use the data to evaluate the suitability of someone's current medication and to predict and prevent health risks.
Polar states that it wants the sensor to deliver real-time monitoring, which could be useful. The Finnish Research Impact Foundation awarded €189,346 to Polar and the University of Oulu for the project, for reference. Unfortunately, research and development began this year, so Polar may be a few years away from bringing a smartwatch with a real-time blood sugar monitor to market.