Apple Watch to Take on Diabetes Management
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Apple Watch to Take on Diabetes Management

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Sofía Garduño By Sofía Garduño | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Thu, 02/23/2023 - 13:51

Apple is developing a blood glucose monitor to monitor glucose levels without having to prick the skin for blood. The solution will be offered as part of the Apple Watch. 


The project relies on silicon photonics and optical absorption spectroscopy for blood sugar level detection, working as an alternative to invasive blood sample collection. The initiative is on the proof-of-concept stage but the company is confident on its future success. 


Wearables like the Apple Watch are gaining more relevance in the health industry by complementing home-care and telemedicine. The Apple Watch currently helps users to track their sleep patterns and menstrual cycles and measure blood oxygen levels, among other features, as reported by Apple. Including a blood glucose monitor would help people with diabetes to manage the disease. 


“The patient needs to understand how the body and diabetes work and needs to have personalized information on the status of vital signs,” María Jesús Salido, CEO, Social Diabetes, tells MBN.


Blood sugar monitoring is essential to manage type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as reported by the CDC. Self-testing is essential for those who experience glucose fluctuations and for those who take insulin to adjust their dose as needed. This practice also help patients to monitor the effects of their medications, track progress of treatment and understand how diet and other factors affect their blood sugar levels, according to Mayo Clinic.


Globally, 422 million people have diabetes, most of them living in low and middle-income countries. About 1.5 million annual deaths are linked to this disease. In Mexico, over 12 million people are living with diabetes, according to the 2021 National Health and Nutrition Survey (Ensanut). The annual national death rate linked to diabetes mellitus is 361 deaths for each 100,000 inhabitants. In 2021, diabetes mellitus was the third cause of death for both men and women, as reported by INEGI


Diabetes can lead to other health complications such as heart disease, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage and vision problems, among others, according to the CDC. For example, one in every three patients with diabetes will develop a vision problem and potentially become blind, explains Cristina Campero, Executive Director, PROSPERiA, to MBN

However, these problems can be prevented or delayed by controlling blood glucose, eating healthy, exercising, avoiding smoking, monitoring vision health, keeping cholesterol levels low, examining foot wellness and understanding the signs of heart disease, as reported by Hopkins Medicine. 

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