Home Blood Sugar Management Why it’s not easy to measure blood sugar levels with a watch

Why it’s not easy to measure blood sugar levels with a watch

by Charlie Sorrel
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  • The FDA says smart watches and smart rings cannot accurately measure blood sugar levels.
  • Wrist-mounted monitors exist, but they work by punching a hole in your skin.
  • Inaccurate blood sugar readings can be fatal.


smart watch.

Alex Muromtsev / Unsplash



According to the FDA, any smart watch or ring that claims to measure blood sugar levels obviously lying.


For people with diabetes, it’s very important to closely monitor blood sugar levels, but you can’t monitor your blood sugar levels from your wrist unless your watch is connected to a device that can actually draw blood. No matter how much smartwatch makers would like to solve this conundrum, it’s still not possible for now. This led to rampant fraud and deception at the FDA. Safety communication issued It has the unmistakable title: “Don’t use smart watches or smart rings to measure blood sugar levels.”


“Most of the devices currently on the market appear to be just scams. Some of these devices may work, but have not been rigorously tested. As a result, it can give patients a false sense of security.” Abnormally high or low blood sugar levels. ” Dr. Jared Rosspresident of EMSEC, LLC a board-certified emergency medicine physician and university professor told Lifewire via email.



Needle = precision

For people with diabetes, it is essential to accurately measure blood sugar levels in order to manage medications.


“For people with diabetes, constantly monitoring blood sugar levels is a matter of life and death.” ashley marieChief Clinical Officer Lake Sana restorationhe told Lifewire via email. “If a patient’s blood sugar levels are rising or falling, that information can help them adjust their medications, eat different foods, or exercise more. This real-time information helps patients optimize their It can help you talk to your health care professional about your diabetes management plan. Having access to this information can help patients reduce their risk of diabetes complications such as stroke and heart attack.”



The best option at this time is to use a minimally invasive continuous glucose monitor (CGM). A plastic catheter with a needle is inserted under the skin and used to access the interstitial fluid of the skin cells to analyze sugar levels. Dr. Ross says these levels are most often closely correlated with blood sugar levels.


In contrast to the claimed non-invasive monitors, several of these minimally invasive CGMs are commercially available and approved by the FDA. It is possible to measure blood sugar levels from the wrist, but it still requires puncturing the skin.


“It’s possible to measure blood sugar levels from the wrist, but you have to insert a needle under the skin,” Murray says.



life-threatening speculation

This does not mean that non-invasive measurements will never be possible. Similar to FDA-approved methods for measuring glucose in body fluids between skin cells, there are several methods that can estimate blood sugar levels based on correlation with other, more measurable factors.


“Several technologies are under development, including near-infrared light, ultrasound, electromagnetic, microwave, and electrochemical detection. It works,” says Dr. Ross. He also has techniques that use microneedle patches and breath analysis.



Blood sugar monitor.

isens usa / unsplash



The end goal here is to constantly monitor and record your blood sugar levels throughout the day so you can see how your blood sugar levels are doing over time. This is already possible, but it’s not cheap. For example, without a subscription, Medtronic Guardian Connect system Costs approximately CAD 5,000 There is an annual cost (US$3,700), primarily due to the need to purchase disposable sensors.


So you can see why having a way to accurately and non-invasively measure blood sugar levels from your watch would be so great. Even if it was a very expensive watch, it would still be cheaper and much more convenient than current methods. The key word here is “accurate”. There is no room for error, which is why the FDA issued such a serious and strongly worded advisory document. And until watches can measure to the required level of accuracy, it can actually be harmful.


”[A] “Falsely high readings can result in more insulin being injected, which can lead to fatal hypoglycemia,” Dr. Ross says. Guess.

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