Medical uses for Apple watch

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Night Spring, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #1
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #2
    Isn't that one of the things apple is looking to leverage with the apple watch?

    I hadn't seen that article, its kind of cool to see something positive come out of it though
     
  3. mikemj23 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I bought the AW specifically for medical reasons. More precisely, I am a Type 1 diabetic and wear a Continuous Glucose Sensor by Dexcom. I have the Dexcom app on my AW and it has been an extremely useful and will only get better. Not to get too technical but the current setup requires the Dexcom receiver with bluetooth which talks to my iPhone/AW. In the next generation (G5) the transmitter (which is attached to my body) will have bluetooth built in and will be able to talk directly with the iPhone/AW. Eliminating the receiver requirement will be tremendous.

    Currently, my AW allows me to not have to always have the receiver on my body everywhere to see my blood sugar. I can glance at my watch in the pool/at the beach with my kids (yes I wear my AW in the pool) instead of having to get out and look at the receiver. I can just leave the receiver in a backpack on the bench while coaching my kids baseball teams. Being able to just stick the receiver in a shorts pocket/backpack and not have to fumble with it to see my readings is extremely convenient, not to mention significantly reduces the likelihood of losing it or dropping it. Plus, the other night my son came over to me while I was taking a nap on the couch and looked at my AW and woke me up and said "dad your watch says your blood sugar is 63, do you need some juice?"

    Pretty cool and very important to me to say the least.
     
  4. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

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    #4
    Cool.

    How accurate is the dexcom sensor compared to finger pricks? My Dad is diabetic. Is it a worthwhile investment? Can you chime in on how the device works, any downsides that you have experienced, and cost if you don't mind?
     
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #5
    I would also like to know how the device that you wear actually tests for Glucose continuously. How does it access your blood to test for the glucose level.
     
  6. mikemj23 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    CGM's measure interstitial fluid which can lag 10-15 mins behind actual blood sugar readings from a finger prick, but the accuracy and algorithms have gotten scarily good over the past 2 years in my own experience. You insert a sensor under the skin and pop on a transmitter which speaks to the receiver that you carry (size of a pager). The sensor sends a reading every 5 minutes so you can see a trending graph of your blood sugar and the number of your last reading. See below:

    Dexcom CGM.jpg

    Doctors who prescribe CGM will always say that they are mainly used for trending purposes. They help spot plummeting blood sugar or vice versa. They help with spotting and correcting basal rates through the day etc. I still prick my finger probably 3x a day but that is much less than upwards of 15x that I did for years and quite frankly the only reason I prick my finger now it to calibrate with my CGM or to make large dosing decisions.

    I can tell you that I cannot live without my CGM. It's like my road map and without it, I feel completely blind as it relates to my diabetes. It's an amazing and trans formative device for most that use it based off my interactions with other T1's.

    Happy to answer any other questions you have.
     
  7. mikemj23 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I insert a sensor under my skin that is a little thicker than a hair. FDA guidelines say that it can only be used for 7 days and then needs to be switched. I will tell you that most experienced users get more than 7 days out of each sensor. I consistently get over 20 days out of each sensor until it gets a bit wonky and then I switch it out.
     
  8. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #8
    Thanks, sound like someone would incorporate this into an insulin pump to do it all automatically.

    Thanks for the information.
     
  9. antnee macrumors regular

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    Jan 7, 2014
    #9
    Yes main reason I bought mine was to sync up with the Dex CGM...love it.
     
  10. mikemj23 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I wear an insulin pump as well and Medtronic Minimed has integrated it's CGM sensor with it's pump but if it worked together and automatically it would be an artificial pancreas and the technology isn't here yet for that but that is the end goal.
     
  11. mikemj23 macrumors 6502

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    That's awesome there is another user here that bought for that reason!!! Can't wait for G5 to come out.
     
  12. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #12
    Sounds like the "goal" is not far down the road. If they could adjust or apply insulin as the spike in glucose starts to happen, I would think that would lead to the best benefits for the user.

    I have a friend who is hypoglycemic and he freaks me out sometimes by just going unconscious because his sugar gets so low. We were on the bass boat once and he passed out and fell into the water! Had to get him back aboard and get a candy bar in him and then all is OK. He says he did not detect his sugar is low and seems they could use a device like yours to set off some kind of alarm.

    Anyway Night Spring, please forgive for me getting off your original topic but I can see how the watch and smart watches as a whole have much promise.
     
  13. mikemj23 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    The issue is the lag of the CGM reading as 10-15 minutes can mean a lot when dosing, but also the lack of glucagon on board in a pump. Your pancreas not only secretes insulin to lower blood sugar, but also secretes glucagon to increase glucose in the event that your blood glucose gets dangerously low. The CGM allows me to see rapidly declining blood sugar so I can catch the low before it gets too dangerous like your buddy's did on the boat. It also rings and vibrates like crazy when it gets below a certain range.

    Sorry as well for all of the diabetic talk. I'm sure everyone could likely care less but it does highlight how Apple Watch has made my life easier to manage and track my diabetes.
     
  14. Night Spring thread starter macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #14
    No problem, I did ask for comments on any medical uses!

    I'd also like to hear if anyone's involved in any research projects that incorporate the Apple watch. Seems that is an area where the watch could really shine. Use the watch as a point of data collection. Participants could enter data by just tapping their watches, or activity and HR data could be collected automatically and correlated for research.
     

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