Pharmacy News

Dr Marie Sartain
/ Categories: APhA News

FDA warns patients not to use smartwatches or smart rings to measure blood glucose levels

FDA released a safety alert February 21 warning patients about the dangers of smartwatches or smart rings that claim to gauge blood glucose levels without requiring the user to pierce their skin.

Dozens of these models have flooded the market, and none are sanctioned by FDA. The agency said they can produce inaccurate readings with the potential to create harm.

Armed with the wrong information, people with diabetes may adjust their medication and end up putting themselves at risk. Taking too much insulin, sulfonylureas, or other treatment can drive blood glucose to dangerously low levels that can escalate quicky to mental confusion, coma, or even death.

For patients who rely on accurate blood glucose measurements to manage their disease, health care providers can point them to appropriate FDA-authorized devices.

Data from authorized devices may be transferred and displayed via applications on some smartwatches or smart rings, which FDA clarifies are not the target of its safety communication. Their warning applies only to unauthorized devices that claim to actually measure blood glucose through noninvasive methods.

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