Activity data from wearables could help monitor blood sugar levels, study indicates
Activity data from a Fitbit can predict changes in blood sugar control for adults with prediabetes, a condition that affects around one in three adults in the United States, a new study shows. The findings point to a strategy that tech companies might use in their rumored efforts to build diabetes technology into wearable products.
“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 involved with this study but has also done work on wearables and glucose monitoring.
People with prediabetes have elevated blood sugar levels, placing them at risk of developing diabetes. But most tools that predict whether someone with prediabetes will progress to develop diabetes look years in the future, says study author Mitesh Patel, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and vice president for Clinical Transformation at hospital group Ascension.