Apple Makes Headway in Secret Bid to Track Glucose on Watch
Comment of the Day

February 22 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Apple Makes Headway in Secret Bid to Track Glucose on Watch

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

The goal of this secret endeavor — dubbed E5 — is to measure how much glucose is in someone’s body without needing to prick the skin for blood. After hitting major milestones recently, the company now believes it could eventually bring glucose monitoring to market, according to people familiar with the effort.

If perfected, such a breakthrough would be a boon to diabetics and help cement Apple as a powerhouse in health care. Adding the monitoring system to the Apple Watch, the ultimate goal, would also make that device an essential item for millions of diabetics around the world.

There’s still years of work ahead, but the move could upend a multibillion-dollar industry. Roughly 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, and they typically rely on a device that pokes the skin for a blood sample. There are also patches from Dexcom Inc. and Abbott Laboratories that are inserted into the skin but need to be replaced about every two weeks.

Eoin Treacy's view

The timing of this announcement/leak is interesting because Apple is being sued for patent infringement for its EKG capability on the Apple Watch. The threat is the company would not be allowed to sell the Watch in the US market. With today’s announcement, the company is obviously touting its own internal R&D which is developing similar non-invasive diagnostic tools.
The share is just about holding in at the 200-day MA and the sequence of lower rally highs is still intact. If its can sustain a move up through the October high that would support the view this yearlong period underperformance is range rather than a top.

It could be years before this kind of technology makes its way into products but the market potential is significant. Hundreds of millions of people in the middle classes of Asia have diabetes or are at risk of developing it. An early warning system would be a welcome product offering.

Meanwhile Insulet, whose product administers insulin automatically, has been ranging for two years. The share trades at an eyewatering valuation estimated P/E of 377 but the share is firming from the region of the 200-day MA and is in close proximity to the upper side of the range.
Novo Nordisk continues to extend its steep uptrend. 

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