Digital health's new wearable trend: metabolic monitors

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The latest trend to hit the wearable health device market is glucose monitoring, which offers users a way to find the foods that are best for their metabolism by tracking how they affect their blood sugar levels, according to a Feb. 8 New York Times report.

Continuous blood glucose monitors were originally only used by patients who had Type 1 diabetes and had a prescription for the device, which kept them from having to draw blood multiple times a day to check their blood sugar. However, with an increasing demand for services and devices that aid in personalized nutrition, some digital health companies are marketing the devices for mass consumption.

Digital health companies such as Levels, Nutrisense and January offer users devices that attach to their arms and measure their blood glucose levels 24 hours a day without any skin pricks. The wearables send the data to users' smartphones, allowing them to view in real time how their blood glucose levels fluctuate along with changes in diet, sleep, exercise and stress levels.

These devices can also alert users if they might be at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

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