It is possible that tracking blood sugar levels could become a more commonly used metric in healthcare, similar to how blood pressure is used to track patients’ health? Recently, news from Apple suggests that watch-based blood glucose measurement is in “the proof of concept stage.”
Blood sugar levels are already routinely monitored in patients with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes, but the importance of maintaining stable blood sugar levels for overall health is becoming more widely recognized. Elevated blood sugar levels, even if not high enough to indicate diabetes, may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and other health problems.
As a result, tracking blood sugar levels without diabetes or pre-diabetes may become a tool for managing both disease and wellness. Or perhaps, availability of broader data sets can foster research examine blood glucose levels and trajectory to offer new insights into the pathophysiology of related diseases at earlier points in time.
Digital health has often offered monitoring solutions that reside in the consumers hands (or wrists). And this has certainly been a mixed blessing. Some tools have provided valuable insights into health. Yet some have become merely a source of arbitrary information that cannot be translated into clinical value. Further, this added burden to healthcare providers may further preclude adoption. But as innovation has taught us, the next big thing can often be close at hand. The emergence of continuous blood glucose monitoring (CGM) has been transformative for patients. And the new data sets have given scientists powerful insights into glucose kinetics and insulin administration. And these insights maybe game-changing with the global concerns of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Your watch is becoming a value tool in wellness and disease management. And that value is only beginning to be realized and implemented.