An Apple Watch for Diabetics Won’t Hit the Market Anytime Soon
During the last few years, we have witnessed an unprecedented acceleration of technological advances for people with diabetes, a condition that affects nearly 30 million Americans. New systems are promising patients less hassle, less pain, fewer injections and finger pokes, less mental math, and less worry about managing their condition. These advances provide more accurate and real-time information on blood sugar (glucose) through wireless technology, apps, built-in clinical decision support algorithms, and automated insulin delivery systems that can reduce diabetes burden and complications. Even Apple (aapl, +0.28%) has reportedly hired biomedical engineers to develop a sensor that detects blood sugar, sparking talk of the company potentially embedding the sensors into a wearable watch that could become a “must have” for people with diabetes. But it will be a long time before it’s actually on the market.
There have been some recent successes: Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems, such as the Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM system, use a sensor through a tiny catheter slipped under the skin that reads glucose every five minutes. This sensor wirelessly transmits information to a stand-alone receiver or smartphone to alert patients of upward or downward trends in their glucose so they can take preemptive action.
Large strides toward an “artificial pancreas” were taken in 2016 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Medtronic MiniMed 670G, which is the first device to uses CGM data to automatically adjust background insulin doses, which are then deliver Continue reading