Dr. Oz, Apple and their prime time effect

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04/24/2017

Earlier this year, we wrote about ResMed teaming up with Dr. Mehmet Oz to launch SleepScore Labs, a new company focused on helping people understand and improve their sleep. One of the company’s first goals: compile and analyze consumer sleep data, starting with its national sleep study at sleepscore.com, and license SleepScore by ResMed technology for other consumer sleep devices.

This morning, I got an email from Ascensia Diabetes Care, announcing a partnership with, you guessed it, the Dr. Oz Show to launch a 60-day “Take Charge” Diabetes Challenge. As part of the challenge, participants will use: Ascensia’s ContourNext One blood glucose monitoring system to monitor their blood glucose; and higi’s health-screening stations and online community platform, which is linked to more than 80 health devices, trackers and apps, to monitor their weight and body mass index. The goal: raise awareness of the importance of testing blood glucose levels regularly and maintaining a healthy diet.

Starting to see where I’m going?

Also today, twitter alerted me to a story about Apple being “fairly advanced” in the development of a continuous noninvasive blood glucose monitor—the Holy Grail of diabetes management. Managing Editor Theresa, Type 1, will believe it when she sees it, but she says, “If anyone can do it, it’s apple.”

The race to not only raise awareness of chronic conditions like obstructive sleep apnea and diabetes but also better manage them is now regularly drawing attention from big names like Dr. Oz and Apple. Say what you will about Dr. Oz (“Half of Dr. Oz’s medical advice is baseless or wrong,” screams one headline from the Washington Post)—and Apple for that matter (any Samsung users out there?)—that’s powerful stuff. The Dr. Oz Show averaged 1.8 million viewers for the season that ended in May 2015; Apple had more than 98 million iPhones in use in the U.S. at the end of March 2015.

Also powerful: the technology that’s fueling increased awareness and better management. Data collection and analysis around chronic conditions has never been higher thanks to connected devices and accompanying apps and software. And although we don’t know much about what Apple is up to, I’d bet the tech giant’s monitor will come with bells and whistles that advance existing use into another stratosphere.

It’s feeling like prime time for chronic conditions, and it’s about time.