Apple Watch announced, no glucose monitoring capabilities – September 9, 2014

Today, Apple finally announced its long awaited Watch. Contrary to speculation in recent months, the product does not have glucose monitoring capabilities. This was not a surprise to us, given the challenges of non-invasive glucose monitoring and the billions that have been spent trying to bring this technology to market. The fitness capabilities of the Apple Watch are well summarized in this Apple video and include a custom heart rate sensor, an accelerometer, and GPS tracking. One of Apple’s goals with the product is to provide a comprehensive picture of users' daily activity; notably, it will suggest customized goals and reward users for reaching personal fitness milestones. We were fairly impressed to see it can track when users are standing vs. sitting, an important metric given recent calls that “Sitting is the new smoking.” To date, activity trackers such as Fitbit and Jawbone have appealed to early adopters and many individuals that are already fairly active - as Genentech CEO recently said, "People who wear Fitbits are not the people we want to be wearing them." We look forward to seeing how the Apple Watch is received in the marketplace and if it can help individuals who are NOT active already become more active. The product will retail at a starting price of $349 and be available in early 2015. Time Magazine has a good review here, which notes, "in the next few years, people will be spending between $30 billion and $50 billion annually on wearables, ten times more than today, according to BCG Research."