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Apple Watch finally lets you monitor blood sugar, but you’ll need a Dexcom G7 

Published Jun 5th, 2024 10:22AM EDT
Apple Watch Ultra 2 with the Modular Ultra watch face
Image: Joe Wituschek for BGR

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The feature I want most for the Apple Watch is real-time blood sugar monitoring. It’s something Apple and other tech companies are rumored to be working on. The ability to check your blood glucose on the fly will be a game-changer.

It’ll help patients better manage their diabetes by providing blood sugar data immediately without needing to draw blood. This could improve the quality of life of people with diabetes and significantly improve treatment. They’ll know whether to eat to prevent blood glucose from crashing or take insulin to keep it in check.

I don’t have diabetes, but I’d use the Apple Watch’s ability to read blood sugar to manage my health and reduce the risk of developing it. I’d know whether I need to eat to compensate for a harder training session or whether I’m overdoing it again with ice cream.

There’s no telling when the Apple Watch might get that capability. Starting now, however, it can still be a useful tool for real-time blood sugar monitoring. You’ll just need to use your watch along with the Dexcom G7 continuous glucose monitor (CGM).

That’s a tiny device that sticks to your skin and sends readings to your smart devices. It has been available for some time, and it works with an iPhone app. But the new trick is the ability to send information directly to your Apple Watch over Bluetooth, without needing an iPhone to be close by.

The Dexcom G7 can beam real-time blood sugar readings to compatible devices every five minutes for up to 10 days before it has to be replaced with a new one. The data reaches the iPhone Health app and the Dexcom receiver.

According to the company’s announcement on Wednesday, you’ll now be able to see the readings directly on an Apple Watch.

Dexcom G7 between the iPhone and Apple Watch.
Dexcom G7 between the iPhone and Apple Watch. Image source: Dexcom

The gadget will connect via Bluetooth and beam important information to your wrist, even if you’re away from your iPhone or iPad. It’ll also send personalized alerts that should help you check your blood sugar levels and prevent hypoglycemia (low sugar levels) and glucose spikes.

The new Dexcom G7 feature will be especially useful for people with type 1 diabetes. This insulin-dependent condition requires precise blood sugar readings to correctly administer insulin doses.

Support for glucose readings on the Apple Watch will roll out first to Dexcom G7 users in the US, UK, and Ireland. You’ll need an Apple Watch Series 6 or later running watchOS 10 or later paired with an iPhone running iOS 17 or later. Also, you’ll need to update the Dexcom G7 app to version 2.1 for the whole thing to work. Other markets will follow.

The Apple Watch isn’t the only wearable that can show real-time blood sugar readings, with the same obvious caveat: You need a CGM wearable. Oppo advertised similar powers for one of its wearables a few months ago.

In other diabetes-related good news, researchers from China were supposedly able to cure type 2 diabetes in a middle-aged man with stem cell therapy. The patient has been diabetes-free for nearly three years, but he’ll still need to monitor health parameters. Gadgets like the Dexcom G7 could help until wearable devices like the Apple Watch get blood glucose monitoring powers.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.