Your Apple Watch can now track your real-time blood sugar... sort of – here's how

Apple Watch SE Workout
Apple Watch SE Workout (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Blood glucose tracking has been a long rumored Apple Watch feature. Most recently, there were even hints it would be coming to the Apple Watch Series 9, but that didn't happen. But it turns out that now you can track your blood sugar straight from your Apple Watch. Sort of.

Popular blood sugar tracker for the iPhone, the Dexcom G7, now lets you check your blood sugar straight from your Apple Watch. With this new setup, your G7 sends glucose readings and personalized alerts directly to your wrist via its own Bluetooth connection.

Is it really Apple Watch blood sugar tracking?

Now, don’t get too excited thinking you can bin your iPhone entirely. You’ll still need it for the initial setup of the G7 CGM and to pair it with your Apple Watch. Also, if you fancy sharing your data with family and friends, your phone needs to stay within 20 feet. Plus, for a holistic view of your blood glucose data combined with other health metrics like sleep and activity, the Apple Health app on your iPhone is still your go-to.

At launch, this nifty feature will be available in the US, UK, and Ireland. More countries will get access later this month, though Dexcom is keeping the specifics under wraps for now. If you’re keen to get started, make sure your Dexcom G7 app is updated to version 2.1, you’ve got an Apple Watch Series 6 or later running watchOS 10, and an iPhone on iOS 17.

It's worth being very clear that this update is about making existing CGMs more user-friendly rather than turning smartwatches into a standalone blood glucose monitoring tool. We’re not there yet, but we’re inching closer. On a related note, Dexcom just got FDA clearance for the Stelo CGM, an over-the-counter device for non-insulin dependent Type 2 diabetes patients, expected to hit the shelves this summer after its big reveal at CES 2024.

Perhaps this year's expected Apple Watch X will finally bring a native blood glucose sensor. This one is set to be a major shakeup from previous watch iterations and, if it follows the footsteps of the similarly memorable iPhone X, it could be on its way to doing so.

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Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.