Thursday, January 27, 2022

Activity data from wearables could help monitor blood sugar ranges, study indicates

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Activity data from a Fitbit can predict modifications in blood sugar management for adults with prediabetes, a situation that impacts round one in three adults within the United States, a new study reveals. The findings level to a method that tech corporations may use of their rumored efforts to construct diabetes expertise into wearable merchandise.

“It kind of makes sense intuitively — more movement, more physical activity leads to overall better health, and better health is one of the factors behind improved glycemic control,” says Jessilyn Dunn, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University who wasn’t concerned with this study however has additionally finished work on wearables and glucose monitoring.

People with prediabetes have elevated blood sugar ranges, inserting them prone to growing diabetes. But most instruments that predict whether or not somebody with prediabetes will progress to develop diabetes look years sooner or later, says study creator Mitesh Patel, an affiliate professor of drugs on the University of Pennsylvania and vice chairman for Clinical Transformation at hospital group Ascension.

“There were no good near-term models to say, in the next six months, whose blood sugar is going to increase and get worse versus whose is going to get better,” Patel says.

In the brand new study, revealed in NPJ Digital Medicine, Patel’s group constructed fashions that might use exercise data collected from both wrist- or waist-worn Fitbits to foretell each modifications in common blood sugar and 5 % improved or worsened blood sugar ranges. Over the course of the six-month study, they discovered that they have been capable of make correct predictions, and that predictions have been extra correct utilizing data collected from the wrist-worn units.

“We know that people who are generally more active have better control of their blood sugar, and people who are less active have worse control,” Patel says. “But there are other hidden patterns in the daily information we’re getting — how many steps are fast steps versus slow steps, and other nuances — that we can get from this information.” Because the wearable can seize that extra data, it may give a extra granular take a look at how exercise drives modifications in blood sugar.

Other research have additionally discovered that data from wearable units can help monitor and predict blood glucose ranges. But that regardless of these relationships, exercise and different wearable data continues to be solely a proxy for blood sugar ranges, Dunn says. It’s nonetheless necessary to immediately monitor blood sugar by way of blood testing strategies till there’s extra proof to point out that the hyperlinks are robust sufficient to make therapy choices. This new study was in beneath 200 individuals, for instance, and solely checked out individuals with prediabetes — extra work can be wanted to check the connection in additional individuals and at various ranges of well being.

Tech corporations are wanting towards diabetes and blood sugar administration as the following set of instruments to include into consumer-facing merchandise like smartwatches and sensible rings. Apple has been wanting into noninvasive glucose monitoring for years, Fitbit has a partnership with diabetes tech firm LifeScan, and a new sensible ring is trying to blood sugar monitoring as a future objective.

These corporations need to discover methods to measure blood sugar with out breaking the pores and skin — their makes an attempt have targeted on sweat, tears, breath, and the reflection of sunshine off the pores and skin. Those methods could provide extra direct measures of glucose than exercise data, however most haven’t come to fruition but, Dunn says.

Dunn says she could think about that, within the quick time period, tech corporations may construct in options that use exercise data to offer individuals some kind of details about their blood sugar. Then, if the opposite, noninvasive methods that extra immediately measure glucose ranges show to work properly, these is perhaps the next-gen instruments.

“And so, then the question becomes, what is the next technology?” Dunn says. “And I think that remains to be seen — but we can be sure there will be something.”

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