We already know that iPhones can play a part in helping diagnose diseases including HIV and heart disease—but if you listen to the claims of medical device manufacturers, the Apple Watch may leave these innovations in the dust.
Medical device maker DexCom is currently designing an app for Apple’s forthcoming smartwatch, capable of turning it into a functioning diabetes glucose monitor. Although Apple hasn’t yet announced which apps will be available when the Apple Watch launches in April, DexCom has said its app will be completed by then.
Unlike regular glucose monitors that ask patients to prick their fingers to draw a drop of blood for analysis, DexCom’s technology uses a tiny sensor that sits under the skin, and takes 12 blood sugar level readings every hour. The data gathered is then visualized on a graph on the paired Apple Watch. The company’s hope is to provide an invaluable service to the 29 million Americans with diabetes.
As noted, this isn’t the first time Apple technology has been used as a potentially crucial part of how medicine is practiced here in 2015. Recently, another report claimed that HealthKit—Apple’s one-stop-shop for collecting medical data, introduced with the iOS 8 mobile platform—is now being used in a number of top hospitals.
While the increased collection of health-monitoring metrics brings its own set of problems, there’s little doubt that it also has the potential to improve the lives of many millions of people.