With the constant advancement in technology, there is a renewed interest in the use of wearable devices in health monitoring. While stress and heart rate monitors have become part of daily life for many people, researchers are also looking into further expanding the use of these devices. A new study found that wearable devices could help identify patients who could benefit from more guidance in regulating their blood sugar.
Researchers from Dartmouth University used wearable devices to examine how diabetes management can vary by month, day, age, and patient’s experience with the condition. The findings, published in the journal Science Advances, showed that patients tended to maintain healthier blood sugar levels from April to September.
In the warmer months when activity levels tend to be higher, glucose levels were found to be within the healthy range for most of the day on average, according to DU’s press statement. In contrast, from October to February the number of times the levels were recorded to be in the normal range was lower than average.
"We're looking for specific patterns that could potentially inform clinical guidelines and set the stage for targeted interventions," study author Temiloluwa Prioleau said in the statement. The researchers have also said that most of the study participants had type 1 diabetes, so it is not clear how these findings could be generalised to people with type 2 diabetes.
Another study author, Prajkata Belsare said that some researchers have hypothesised that changes in activity levels, lifestyle, and food intake during different seasons impact blood-glucose management, according to the statement. Another interesting finding was how effectively different age groups regulated their blood sugar.
"We found that young adults in the 19-to-34 age range were less proficient at managing blood glucose," Belsare adds. This is likely to reflect the struggle that newly independent adults face in taking care of their own health.
This is yet another study that looks into how to personalise diabetes management, making it easier for the patients. Another interesting research related to diabetes was published earlier this month. Engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have designed an implantable device that carries hundreds of thousands of islet cells along with its own onboard oxygen factory to keep the cells healthy, the MIT’s press statement revealed. This device could enable injection-free control of diabetes.