Smartwatches for measuring blood sugar? The FDA warns against this – National | Globalnews.ca

Smartwatches and rings that claim to measure blood sugar levels for medical purposes without piercing the skin could be dangerous and should be avoided, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned on Wednesday.

The warning applies to any watch or ring, regardless of brand, that claims to be able to measure blood sugar levels in a non-invasive way, the agency said. The FDA said it has not approved any such device.

The agency’s announcement does not apply to smartwatch apps that are linked to sensors, such as B. Continuous glucose monitoring systems that measure blood glucose directly.

Approximately 37 million Americans suffer from diabetes. People with this disease are unable to regulate their blood sugar effectively because their bodies either do not produce enough of the hormone insulin or they have developed insulin resistance.

To manage the condition, they must check their blood sugar levels regularly with a fingertip blood test or with a sensor that places needles just under the skin to continuously monitor glucose levels.

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Using the unapproved smartwatch and smart ring devices could lead to inaccurate blood glucose measurements with “potentially devastating” consequences, Dr. Robert Gabbay of the American Diabetes Association. This could cause patients to take incorrect doses of medication, resulting in dangerous blood sugar levels and possibly mental confusion, coma or even death.

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Several companies are working on noninvasive blood glucose monitoring devices, but none have developed a product that is accurate and safe enough to receive FDA approval, Dr. David Klonoff, who has been researching diabetes technology for 25 years.

The technology that allows smartwatches and rings to measure metrics like heart rate and blood oxygen isn’t accurate enough to measure blood sugar, said Klonoff of Sutter Health Mills-Peninsula Medical Center in San Mateo, California. Efforts to measure blood sugar in body fluids such as tears, sweat and saliva are also not yet ready for prime time.

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“It’s a challenge, and I believe that at some point there will be at least one scientist or engineer who can solve it,” Klonoff said.

Meanwhile, consumers who want to accurately measure their blood sugar can purchase an FDA-approved blood glucose meter from any pharmacy.

“It depends on the risk. If the FDA approves it, the risk is very low,” he said. “If you use a product that is not FDA-approved, very often the risk is very high.”

&Copy 2024 The Canadian Press

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