The Apple Watch has become a popular health and fitness monitoring tool in recent years, with features including a heart rate monitor, body temperature sensor, blood oxygen monitoring, and women’s health tracking. However, despite a growing feature set, the watch does have one notable omission: blood glucose monitoring.
According to data from the World Health Organization, around 422 million people worldwide have diabetes. Currently, the disease is monitored using a finger-prick test to measure glucose levels or by attaching patches to the skin.
Apple is now reportedly close to adding a non-invasive glucose monitoring solution to its watches after testing various technologies for the best part of a decade. However, it could still be a few years before the device is ready for mass-market application.
If Apple’s monitoring sensors get the green light from medical professionals, its smartwatches could also be used to screen users for pre-diabetic indicators, as well as help long-term sufferers to manage their condition without the pain and inconvenience of skin-prick testing.
Apple will use a chip-based solution called “silicon photonics” to measure glucose levels, combined with absorption spectroscopy, which measures reflected light to gauge insulin. Although the technology hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed by scientists, the Cupertino company is thought to be deep into the proof-of-concept stage of testing.
Once Apple’s technology has been evaluated by researchers, the company will have to work on reducing the size of the chips, as experts believe that early prototypes are still too large to fit into the compact frame of a smartwatch.
Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 To Help Climate Technology Startups
The initiative was announced at the COP28 summit and will help selected startups with a $200,000 cash injection and further incentives.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology system, has launched a new initiative to support climate technology startups backed by several of the UAE’s largest public and private sector organizations.
A total of 342 startups have submitted applications so far, with the top companies being added to a shortlist that will be revealed shortly. Selected startups will receive Dh250,000 ($68,000) in incentives and an upfront cash support package of Dh250,000. In addition, the top performers of Hub71’s new initiative will also receive a top-up of up to Dh250,000 in exchange for additional equity.
Ahmad Alwan, deputy chief executive of Hub71, said: “This initiative aims to bring in different entities that have a shared mission towards climate tech […] Throughout the journey, we will support these companies, not only from being startups to becoming mature companies but also to facilitate their engagement with entities that would support them with access to capital, market, and talent”.
The Hub71+ ClimateTech ecosystem is backed by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the National Central Cooling Company, who have each pledged Dh500,000 to the initiative as anchor partners.
They are joined by corporate partners, including Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Aldar Properties, sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Masdar City, and Dubai’s Emirates NBD. In addition, Siemens Energy is also onboard as an anchor partner.
So far, Hub71 has helped 260 member startups and created over 1,000 jobs, according to the organization’s website. In addition, it has collectively raised around Dh5 billion since its foundation in 2019.