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Apple: New Products, New Possibilities

September 11, 2014

While I was diligently working Tuesday afternoon, I checked CNN’s tech blog to follow Apple’s product announcement to see what my soon-to-be-purchased iPhone would provide. These latest iterations of Apple’s products seem to be more health-focused, which opens up a lot of possibilities for me and others who are pancreatically challenged.

(Full disclosure: I’m an Apple early adopter. I’ve been in on iPhones since the second generation, as I am with most Apple products. I like to wait until the second generation for most products so they can work out the first-generation bugs. My wife and I have an all-Apple house. We are raising a child who will be adept with Apple products.)

The new phone looks like it’ll be just what we expected. I was already in. Way to go, Apple. You get my money. Again.

Then came the worst-kept “And one more thing” secret in quite some time: the Apple Watch. Throughout the keynote address, Apple’s team kept talking about health and fitness tracking, and how their products will be able to do that.AppleWatchSensors

Now we’re talking.

Of particular interest were the sensors that the Apple honchos said could determine the wearer’s heart rate. (Sensors shown in photo to the right.) As soon as I saw the sensors, I thought “Why can’t that be used to read glucose levels?” I’ve been reading lately about technology that would allow glucose readings without having to draw blood. Surely some entrepreneurial genius can find a way to utilize the technology available in the Apple Watch to take advantage of this possibility, right?

I would hope Medtronic or one of the other big corporations that are making millions upon millions of dollars shilling products to people with diabetes like myself are taking advantage of the new products that are to roll out and will find a way to incorporate their technology in them, right? I’d like to see some sort of app developed that will allow my CGM readings to be transmitted to my iPhone (or whatever other soon-to-be-ubiquitous wearable product) so that I don’t have to carry yet another receiver around with me. (This was a big selling point for the Medtronic 530g with Enlite, as it’s one fewer product for me to have to lug around.)

If Medtronic, Dexcom and the other CGM manufacturers try to tell me there’s no way to transmit their readings to these products, I’m telling them they’re not trying hard enough.

This might also be a good opportunity for you guys to provide the API info for your products, as has been a serious shortcoming in the way you do business. (I’m particularly looking at you, Medtronic.)

In the long run, I’m excited about what can happen with these new devices. The current offerings in the App Store aren’t very impressive when you’re looking for help with diabetes. It seems like the vast majority of the apps available today are logbooks. I have software that automatically tracks that, so I’m not interested in those offerings. I’d like to see the companies that are making big money on the backs of people with diabetes take the next technological step forward and find a way to make more information available through fewer devices.

And please, once and for all, make a pump that doesn’t look like a beeper. It’s the 21st century, after all.

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