Diabetes tracking app in development for Apple Watch

A new app providing continuous glucose readings via a diabetes blood sugar monitor is being prepped to work with the Apple Watch when it hits market in just a few months.

DexCom has released an image of its software that transposes glucose data reading into a concise graph, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The data is collected by DexCom's diabetes monitor, which is embedded under a patient's skin, and then shared with the user on Apple's impending wearable device. Apple Watch reportedly will launch in April; there has been no official comment from the company regarding the DexCom app.

The DexCom monitor meets governmental regulations regarding medical devices as stipulated by U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules. The app, due to an agency rule change earlier this year, doesn't require agency approval to get into market.

The news comes amidst what some industry watchers believe is the start of a mHealth tech revolution hitting this year. As federal agencies repeatedly indicate they are taking a hands-off approach regarding apps, developers and device makers are forging full blast to create and build new tools for the ongoing wearable mHealth device wave.

Yet, as Apple learned in late 2014, a lack of oversight may pose challenges as app development is not without stumbles. Apple, last fall, had to make a big fix to its Health software when it was determined to not be compatible with blood glucose measurements used in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Apple's newly announced healthcare data hub, HealthKit, lets users enter blood glucose data from various devices that may be using different units of measurement, such as milligrams per deciliter in the U.S. and millimoles per litre in Australia. Incompatible measurement results can pose life-threatening situations. In September Apple was compelled to pull all HealthKit-compatible apps from the Apple Store due to a software bug issue.

The DexCom app news comes just weeks after Apple announced it is developing a fitness-focused Watch companion app, called Fitness. Apple's first wearable is rumored to feature a heart rate tracker, GPS capability, Wi-Fi connectivity and an accelerometer. The new app features reminders to users to stand after they've been sitting for nearly an hour, and provides a user's activity progress ion an hourly status basis.

According to the WSJ report there are 29 million U.S. residents suffering from diabetes, and between 5 and 10 percent require constant blood sugar monitoring to avoid potential dangerous health situations.

For more information:
- read the Wall Street Journal report

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