Apple will launch its much-anticipated product, the Apple Watch, in April. One of the first apps available for the watch – one which is being marketed as revolutionary for health monitoring – will be an app that tracks blood glucose levels and displays them on a graph – invaluable information for diabetics.
Dexcom, the firm that developed the app, has already secured approval from the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The app comprises a monitor inserted under the skin which reports blood sugar levels once every few minutes. This information is then sent to the app, on any remote handheld device, and, finally, displayed on the watch. The premise is that being able to see the stats on the Apple Watch is easier and more convenient than having to maneuver an iPhone for the same information.
Approximately 29 million Americans currently suffer from diabetes. Of those, 5-10% must constantly monitor blood sugar levels, and often also inject insulin, in order to avert hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, diabetic shock which can cause fainting, coma or strokes. Until now, the FDA has required glucose monitors to adhere to very strict regulations. It has, however, loosened these rules for the software which displays this information. The technology must simply be registered with, but not approved by, the agency before going on the market.
Aside from glucose monitoring, the Apple Watch will have many other health-related uses: there will be a range of apps for workout tracking and actively promoting more movement throughout the day. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has spoken about his belief that constant movement and staying active are the keys to good health.