"Apple Inc. has a moonshot-style project underway that dates back to the Steve Jobs era: noninvasive and continuous blood glucose monitoring.
"The goal of this secret endeavor — dubbed E5 — is to measure how much glucose is in someone’s body without needing to prick the skin for blood. After hitting major milestones recently, the company now believes it could eventually bring glucose monitoring to market, according to people familiar with the effort.
"If perfected, such a breakthrough would be a boon to diabetics and help cement Apple as a powerhouse in health care. Adding the monitoring system to the Apple Watch, the ultimate goal, would also make that device an essential item for millions of diabetics around the world."
The story notes that there still are years of work ahead of Apple, but success would be a big deal both in terms of the financial upside for the company and the nation's broader healthcare needs - "roughly 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, and they typically rely on a device that pokes the skin for a blood sample. There are also patches from Dexcom Inc. and Abbott Laboratories that are inserted into the skin but need to be replaced about every two weeks."
- KC's View:
I think this is extraordinary. I asked my doctor the other day during a routine visit if she thought she eventually will be prescribing Apple Watches for her patients, especially elderly ones. She laughed, and said, "Not for you. Not yet, anyway." But she said that she did think that she could be recommending their use at some point, especially for people at risk of falling.
If the kind of monitoring described by Bloomberg becomes routinely available, I suspect that Apple Watches could become standing operating equipment for a growing number of patients, regarding of age.