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Don't Use Smartwatches That Claim to Measure Blood Sugar, FDA Warns
  • Posted February 22, 2024

Don't Use Smartwatches That Claim to Measure Blood Sugar, FDA Warns

Some Americans living with diabetes are using smartwatches and smart rings that claim to be able to track their blood sugar.

However, such claims from any device that does not pierce the skin are fraudulent and potentially dangerous, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned in an advisory issued Wednesday.

Don't be fooled, the agency said.

"Sellers of these smartwatches and smart rings claim their devices measure blood glucose levels without requiring people to prick their finger or pierce the skin. They claim to use noninvasive techniques. These smartwatches and smart rings do not directly test blood glucose levels," the agency said.

No such devices have ever been approved by the agency, and trusting them can be hazardous.

"For people with diabetes, inaccurate blood glucose measurements can lead to errors in diabetes management," the agency warned.

Those errors include taking the wrong doses of a drug that might send blood sugar plummeting to dangerous lows.

In other cases, "taking too much of these medications can quickly lead to dangerously low glucose, leading to mental confusion, coma or death within hours of the error," the FDA warned.

The agency said consumers are able to buy these unapproved devices easily online. "These smartwatches and smart rings are manufactured by dozens of companies and sold under multiple brand names," according to the FDA.

"If your medical care depends on accurate blood glucose measurements, talk to your health care provider about an appropriate FDA-authorized device for your needs," the agency said.

The FDA is also asking the nation's health care providers to warn patients of this danger.

"This safety communication applies to any smartwatch or smart ring that claims to measure blood glucose without piercing the skin, regardless of manufacturer or brand," the agency said.

The FDA added it is working to prevent the illegal marketing of these devices throughout the United States.

More information

Find out more about monitoring your blood sugar at the Cleveland Clinic.

SOURCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, safety communication, Feb. 21, 2024

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