Samsung, Apple and Google are working to get their wearable devices to monitor blood sugar. Blood tracking could grow into a $12 billion market. Fred Katayama reports.
Talk about a smart Silicon sugar rush. Sources say Apple, Google and Samsung are working to get their new wearable devices to monitor blood sugar - without the needle prick. The tech titans figure that'll help turn smartwatches and bracelets into gotta-have gadgets. They see gold in glucose. Research firm Global Data predicts the worldwide market for tracking blood sugar will grow to $12 billion by 2017. 29 million Americans suffer from diabetes. The tech giants are hiring scientists and engineers, and they're developing services that'll turn their mobile devices into a health data hub. Apple's HealthKit that aggregates health data from various apps will come out on its new operating system this fall. There's speculation Google will release a "Google Fit" health tracking service at its developers conference this week. It has already developed a "smart" contact lens that measures glucose. Samsung, which showed off this prototype health band in May, is working to imbed a feature that flashes blood-sugar warnings in future Galaxy Gear smartwatches. Regulation could be an issue. If the new wearables are marketed to diabetics, they'll likely be regulated. But they may be able to skirt it if they're used for nutrition. The tech companies will likely start focusing on non-medical applications like fitness and education.