Since its unveiling back in September, the buzz around the Apple Watch has been constant. The latest news for the not-yet-released wearable is the announcement from medical device maker Dexcom. Dexcom has been showing off its diabetes glucose monitoring app that will display glucose reading on iOS devices. The company reports that the app will be ready when Apple Watch is launched in April.
29 million Americans have diabetes, with 5-10 percent being Type 1. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body is unable to transform glucose into energy. Insulin administrations are necessary for Type 1 diabetes patients. If blood sugar levels become too high or low, it can cause complications including strokes and kidney disease. Currently, patients carry around a pager-like device to read glucose levels. The Apple Watch could soon make that process easier.
Dexcom’s app will use a miniature sensor inserted under the skin, called a continuous glucose monitor, to measure glucose levels every five minutes. The monitor sends the data to a remote device, which then sends information the iPhone app. The app then communicates with the Apple Watch to display the blood sugar levels in the form of a graph. Dexcom wants to help diabetics read their glucose levels quickly and easily, with just a glance at their watch. The demos of Dexcom’s Apple Watch app have only shows the displays of glucose readings; however, other features may be included, such as alarms and calibration.
This app was made possible by a change in policy by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Previously, any glucose-related apps were put into Class III, meaning they needed highest level of approval. The new policy says that the federal agency will only regulate medical hardware, not the apps that connect it to smartphones or smartwatches.