Could augmented eyeglasses someday help us spot nasty viruses on public doorknobs? Could our wearables, in the form of an Apple Watch, someday provide a complete analysis of our blood? Predict a cold? Detect and diagnose a disease or illness? All that may not be far off.
One of the features of modern tech is that projects that start off at a basic level and succeed almost always advance in ways that seem predictable and inevitable. This week, I want to focus on the practical, realtime benefits of a medical wearable that’s several generations beyond the current Apple Watch.
Here’s a good starting point via Jonny Evans. “Your Apple Watch is Going to Become Your Personal Physician.”
Author Evans makes some great points, but I want to elaborate myself.
AI + Miniaturization = Future
I have noted recently that CBC blood tests that used to require sending blood to a distant lab with big machines can now be done in a doctor’s office on a machine the size of a large bread box in just a few minutes. How long until your Apple Watch is able to conduct a complete, non-invasive, blood analysis?
I mention this because I’ve read about a technique that allows for the measurement of blood sugar in a person’s sweat. If that can be done, there may be ways in the future, not yet envisioned, to get even more detailed information about the blood non-invasively. And, therefore, create a very thorough profile of a person’s health.
Early on, some of this technology may start off as larger equipment in the home. That equipment transmits information about blood measurements to our iPhone for analysis and integration into other health data. But, I think, eventually, the “blood lab” will move into the wearable itself.
Taking this a step further, Siri or an IBM/Watson-like AI analysis of all that data could lead to the elimination of general practice physicians. Only when we need surgery would we have to visit a specialist. And that specialist will be a very precise, very competent AI robot.
Your Apple Watch tells you your pulse today, but a lot more is coming. “If we can dream it, we can do it.” (Walt Disney.)
Next page: The news debris for the week of January 16th. An Apple invasive maneuver.