"What a CHEM-7 Test Has To Do With The Apple Watch" in Humanizing Tech
You might want to listen to this one
I. What’s a CHEM-7 Test?
Did you know that there’s a rapid way to discover that you’re about to get sick or what’s causing you to be sick right now? It’s one of the most common health tests in the world and often used for screening at annual physical exams.
This CHEM-7 panel tests your blood for 7 things:
- Electrolytes: sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate
- Diabetes / blood sugar: glucose
- Kidney function: creatinine
- Liver function: blood urea nitrogen
But what does all this fancy bio-chemistry have to do with you? Well it’s a great way to discover what treatment you may need urgently. Things like: dehydration, diabetic shock, heart failure, kidney failure, or liver failure, substance overdose, and even water intoxication.
Ohhhh, I get it now.
II. So what’s with the Apple Watch?
The biggest issue with this blood test is that, well, it requires your blood. Which means you have to go to some kind of medical facility where they can draw a tube of your blood. And that just plain sucks. Because it takes time out of your day and they shove a big ole needle in your arm (look the other way). Finally, if you only get one of these blood panels once per year or when you’re sick (sometimes every 5 or 10 years?), then it really doesn’t give an accurate reading of what’s happening inside your body.
To solve all of these problems, wouldn’t it be grand if version 2 of the Apple Watch started using that Smart Band patent we keep hearing about and some upgrades to its sensors underneath the watch to read your blood levels over time just like it currently does with your heart rate?
So is this even feasible? OMG I’m, like, so glad you asked.
See that image above you? The folks at Northeastern University’s Clark Labs have developed a “tattoo” that can measure some of this information. They say that they can detect data from the brain, muscles, and heart and then transmit that wirelessly.
So, instead of sticking this tattoo on your skin, Apple could theoretically just build it into the band and the case of the Apple Watch. And then you’re not only getting readings from blood, but also the brain (for things like Alzheimers and Epilepsy), and your muscles for things like fitness. Weightlifting, for instance, isn’t able to be tracked by the Apple Watch because there’s no way for it to tell how much weight you’re actually holding. All it can detect is motion. And it matters a lot whether you’re benching 50 pounds or 500 pounds.
Do I think this will be in version 2 of the Apple Watch? I’d say the chances are slim that the technology has been developed this quickly to enable it. But I do know with 100% certainty that it’s on their roadmap. So give it a few years and maybe we’ll see it in Apple Watch 4.
But no matter when it happens, hang on. The next few years are going to be quite a ride.
from Sean Everett on Medium http://ift.tt/29Gp4Lx