Smartwatches and Nutrition - Welcome to the Future!
Yesterday brought a major announcement in the technology world: the launch of the Apple Watch. This smartphone that lives on your wrist promises to change our already close relationship with technology. It features the ability to make calls, interact with friends via social media platforms, and even make purchases – all in a piece of technology that’s just 38mm wide. Fittingly, app developers are hard at work creating novel ways that the Apple Watch can be used. Among the first apps to be launched is actually one centered around nutrient status: a blood glucose monitor.
Regular readers of Talking Nutrition are probably all-too aware of our fondness for the use of nutrient status assessments. Nutrient status markers are an effective way to determine whether you stand to benefit from additional nutrient intake, and have usefulness in clinical trial design and so many more applications. Now, admittedly, blood glucose is not typically a nutrient status marker that we discuss on our blog since we’re a bit more vitamin-centric, but nevertheless the same logic applies. Insulin only benefits those with elevated blood glucose, a quick sugar fix only benefits those who have low blood glucose. Similarly, vitamins provide the most benefit for those with lower nutrient status – providing supplemental vitamins to a replete person will be of considerably less benefit.
This announcement of a glucose monitor being available on the Apple Watch marks an advancement in “mHealth” – the practice of using mobile telecommunication technologies to manage our health and wellness. Expanding the accessibility of health assessment technologies to the masses on smartphones and smartwatches is the future of health, and the development of a nutrient status marker app being the first medical app available on the Apple Watch is an indicator of the coming trend.
As the use of mHealth technologies becomes more widespread, we welcome the improved accessibility of nutrient status indicators. We can only hope that in the future, this will expand beyond just blood glucose into markers such as serum vitamin D. And maybe that future is coming sooner than we thought.