According to market research firm IDC, wearable tech device sales will likely triple to 19 million units this year and are projected to reach 111.9 million units by 2018. Health-monitoring devices are shaping up to be an important segment of this rapidly growing market, and it’s no secret that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung (SSNLF.PK), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) are in a race to bring a successful health-monitoring wearable tech device to market.
While many of the upcoming devices promise to do everything from detecting your heart rate to keeping track of your sleep schedule, one of the most lucrative potential features could be the ability to monitor a user’s blood sugar levels. According to GlobalData research cited by Reuters, the glucose-monitoring market is projected to be worth more than $12 billion by 2017, due in large part to the growing incidence of diabetes.
For this reason, the success of any upcoming health-monitoring wearable tech device may hinge on whether it has the ability to monitor blood sugar levels. While the standard method for checking glucose is to draw blood by pricking a finger, mobile device makers are aiming to develop a noninvasive method. As reported by Reuters, Apple, Samsung, and Google have all made moves that suggest the three tech companies are exploring this area.
At the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple unveiled a health data storage platform called HealthKit, as well as an accompanying Health app. Many industry observers believe that HealthKit and the Health app are laying the foundation for Apple’s rumored iWatch: a wrist-worn device that will feature multiple biometric sensors for collecting health and fitness-related data. Some rumors have indicated that one of the iWatch’s features will be the ability to monitor glucose.