People with prediabetes have elevated blood sugar, which puts them at an increased risk of developing diabetes.
But most tools for predicting whether someone with prediabetes will progress to diabetes will look years into the future, study author Mitesh Patel, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University Pennsylvania, said.
“There’s no good short-term model to say, over the next six months, whose blood sugar is going to rise and get worse than which is going to be better,” says Patel.
In the new study, published in NPJ Digital Medicine, Patel’s team built models that used activity data collected from Fitbits worn on the wrist or waist to predict both changes in average blood sugar and 5% of improved blood sugar. good or bad, the report said.
The results showed that wearables made accurate predictions, and in particular, wearables predicted more accurate data.
“We know that people who are generally more active have better control of their blood sugar, and that less active people have worse control,” says Patel.
“But there are other hidden patterns in the everyday information we receive – how many steps are fast versus slow and other nuances – that we can derive from this information,” he said. more.
Since the wearable can collect that additional data, it could provide a more detailed look at how activity drives blood sugar changes, the report said.
Jessilyn Dunn, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University and who has shown that improved blood sugar control is one of the factors that help improve blood sugar control. t participated in this study, was quoted as saying.
Other studies have also found that data from wearable devices can help monitor and predict blood glucose levels. However, they are still only a proxy for blood sugar, Dunn says.
It is still important to monitor blood sugar directly through blood testing methods.
Diabetes and blood sugar management is the next goal for tech companies, which are looking to incorporate these tools into consumer products like smartwatches and smart rings.
Apple has been looking at non-invasive blood glucose monitoring for years, Fitbit has a partnership with diabetes tech company LifeScan, and a new smart bracelet is looking at blood sugar monitoring as a goal. future spending, the report said.
These companies try to measure blood sugar non-invasively by focusing on sweat, tears, breath, and the reflection of light on the skin. While these strategies may provide more direct measures of glucose levels than activity data, most are still fruitless, Dunn noted.