“Apple’s Apple Watch is a bit of a niche product right now, but if Apple can figure out a way to use it to help diabetes patients track their blood-sugar levels, then it could become a must-own device for tens of millions of people in the U.S. alone,” The Motley Fool writes. “In this clip from The Motley Fool’s Industry Focus: Healthcare podcast, analyst Kristine Harjes is joined by contributor Todd Campbell to discuss a secretive program at Apple that’s developing healthcare sensors for its devices.”
Harjes: The Apple Watch is a really interesting product, but right now it’s kind of a luxury product. And I think if they’re able to find a way to make it a must-have for diabetics, that’s going to be a game-changer for this product.
Campbell: You have apps that tie into both your Apple phone, your Watch. Some of those are healthcare related. You have access to things like heart rate through these devices, being able to track those things. But wouldn’t it be great, Kristine, if you could be wearing your Apple Watch and, at the same time that you’re wearing it, it’s measuring your blood glucose level?
Harjes: Absolutely, yeah. One of the big step changes with this project — which, by the way, Apple is working on this. Despite Apple being shrouded in secrecy about what’s next sometimes, a very credible journalist from CNBC reports that they are working in this area. So the step change that I see in this project is that they’re looking at a non-invasive continuous glucose monitor sensor. When you talk about reading your glucose levels, it always involves some sort of prick to the finger, or something that is invasive to the body, What they’re trying to do is figure out how the Apple Watch could incorporate an optical sensor to read glucose levels just by shining light through the skin, and integrating that with the data that you have on your Apple Watch.
Full video here.
MacDailyNews Take: If* achieved, Apple Watch would become the essential device for hundreds of millions of people with diabetes.
According to the International Diabetes Federation:
*It’s a big “IF.” Non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring would indeed be the “holy grail for treating diabetes.”
Apple secret team reportedly working holy grail for treating diabetes; initially envisioned by Steve Jobs – April 12, 2017
Apple patent details Apple Watch smart bands – January 24, 2017
Emails between Apple and FDA hint at future plans – December 1, 2016
Analyst: Apple smartbands are a part of the Apple Watch’s future – April 8, 2016
Apple patent application hints at Apple Watch ‘Smartbands’ utilizing hidden 6-pin data connector – February 20, 2016
Why Apple’s iWatch won’t measure glucose levels – February 26, 2014
I doubt this is possible on the wrist. Now, in the ear canal…
Doubt away. It’s already being tested in real world.
With blood glucose, I think accuracy of measurement is the issue. I would just be happy being warned if my BS is high or low. I think different pigments and hair may vary with light on the wrist. Being a type 1 Diabetic, I wish I could be a gopher and test one for Apple.
It was already widely reported by both WSJ and NYT that Apple has spent literally years trying to make all the rest sensors other than for heart-rate work in AW, and it failed due to the accuracy issues. Unless there would be a break-through — and we have not heard anything about it — Apple will not add any more sensors.
I was under the impression that this was a goal for the Apple Watch from the git go once the medical legalities were met and the equipment was ready.
if they *weren’t* working on this it would be a pretty bad sign.
Put a through-the-skin blood glucose sensor on the watch, couple the reading to an insulin pump controlled by dosage software in the iPhone on the other end, and Apple has invented an artificial pancreas.
They can revolutionize diabetes treatment. I suspect the technology is almost there. This is one that Apple should sell at absolute minimum price.
The first models will soon be improved by others, once the concept is finally demonstrated, but this is one development that is worth doing, even if it doesn’t show a huge profit.