Smartwatches are among the most popular wearable pieces of technology to explode on the scene. It seems you can't go anywhere without coming across several people wearing a FitBit, Apple Watch, or some other form of smartwatch technology.

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing a warning to everyone over a certain kind of smartwatch, and that warning may just apply to you.

Health Monitoring

Smartwatches with health apps are popular because they make it easy for people to track their fitness and monitor their health. These devices offer a simple way to keep an eye on things like exercise, heart rate, and sleep patterns.

They give users instant feedback and helpful advice, which encourages them to stay active and make healthier choices. Plus, smartwatches can connect to smartphones and share progress with friends, keeping users motivated.

Overall, these devices are a convenient way for people to take control of their well-being and stay on top of their health goals. Their popularity shows that more and more people are interested in using technology to improve their lifestyle and stay healthy.

The FDA Health Warning

The FDA has now issued a warning about some of these smartwatches, focusing on the biometric aspects of them.

The issue is with certain smartwatch health apps and functions that claim to measure your blood glucose levels - without piercing the skin.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers, patients, caregivers, and health care providers of risks related to using smartwatches or smart rings that claim to measure blood glucose levels (blood sugar) without piercing the skin," the agency said. "These devices are different than smartwatch applications that display data from FDA-authorized blood glucose measuring devices that pierce the skin, like continuous glucose monitoring devices (CGMs). The FDA has not authorized, cleared, or approved any smartwatch or smart ring that is intended to measure or estimate blood glucose values on its own."

It's not limited to one set of watches or rings, though. According to the FDA, these smartwatches and smart rings "are manufactured by dozens of companies and sold under multiple brand names."

It's difficult to believe that any piece of technology can accurately measure your blood glucose level through "noninvasive means," and the FDA is clear that it has not approved any such device that claims to be able to.

What Is Blood Glucose?

Blood glucose, or blood sugar, is the amount of sugar in your blood. It's essential for providing energy to your body's cells. Measuring blood glucose helps monitor your health, especially for those with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes (or those at risk).

There are two main methods for measurement.

First, there's fingerstick testing, where a tiny drop of blood is obtained by pricking your fingertip, and it's applied to a test strip. The glucose meter then gives a numerical reading.

Second, continuous glucose monitoring involves a small sensor under your skin that continuously measures glucose levels. This provides real-time data and helps track trends.

Regular monitoring, especially for those with conditions like diabetes, is crucial for managing health and ensuring glucose levels stay within a target range.

FDA Recommendations

• Do not buy or use smartwatches or smart rings that claim to measure blood glucose levels. These devices may be sold through online marketplaces or directly from the seller.

• Be aware that the safety and effectiveness of these devices have not been reviewed by FDA, and the use of these devices could result in inaccurate measurements of blood glucose levels.

• If your medical care depends on accurate blood glucose measurements, talk to your healthcare provider about an appropriate FDA-authorized device for your needs.

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Gallery Credit: TRACY WIRTZ