Your Smartwatch Can’t Measure Blood Glucose Levels… Yet

FDA warns of the unauthorized sale of smartwatches and smart rings falsely claiming non-invasive technology to measure blood glucose.

Katie Hobbins, Managing Editor

February 26, 2024

3 Min Read
Yagi Studio / Stone via Getty Images

Smartwatches and smart rings that market themselves claiming a non-invasive way to measure blood glucose have not been proven to be accurate, according to FDA’s recent safety communication, which highlighted that use of these devices for glucose monitoring purposes on diabetes patients could result in inaccurate insulin, sulfonylureas, or other medication dosage.

Regular blood glucose monitoring is essential for individuals managing type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Use of accurate monitoring technology enables decision making on care plans and can help delay or prevent diabetes complications such as dangerously low glucose, mental confusion, coma, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputation, and death.

To measure blood glucose, the skin must be pierced to obtain information. Any such device claiming to measure without piercing the skin is inaccurate.

While innovation has allowed for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices such as the Dexcom G7 to be accessed through a wearable smartwatch or ring — think Apple Watch, Fitbit, Samsung watch, or Oura Ring — a smart watch or ring itself has no current capability to conduct such monitoring, according to FDA. The agency, to date, warned it has “not authorized, cleared, or approved any smartwatch or smart ring that is intended to measure of estimate blood glucose values on its own.”

FDA is urging consumers to not buy or use smartwatches or smart rings that claim to measure blood glucose levels as they have not been reviewed for safety or effectiveness.

While you won’t likely find any of the well-known wearable companies touting such claims, it seems FDA is targeting less known companies that sell unsubstantiated devices directly to consumers through a brand website, crowdfunding campaigns, and online marketplaces.

Consumer feedback found after purchasing such a smartwatch or ring underlines the potential risks. A Quora user wrote, in part, that her father, who is using a watch which is not available on either Amazon or eBay and can only be found on obscure websites, has stopped measuring his blood glucose levels daily, instead relying on the wearable.

Additional Reddit users have created threads asking about smartwatches with blood glucose monitoring capabilities.

FDA said that it had become aware of the sale of such devices and, in the safety communication, urged consumers to report companies selling smartwatch’s and rings that claim to measure blood glucose levels through its MedWatch Voluntary Reporting Form.

“The agency is working to ensure that manufacturers, distributors, and sellers do not illegally market unauthorized smartwatches or smart rings that claim to measure blood glucose levels,” according to FDA. “Additionally, the FDA is alerting consumers about this issue and making the public aware that smartwatches and smart rings should not be used to measure blood glucose levels.”


Although the technology to monitor blood glucose through a smartwatch or ring is not currently available, it doesn’t mean companies aren’t working on it. Apple, according to CNBC, has a secret team that’s been working on it for almost a decade, even citing a major milestone in 2023. Additionally, Samsung is also researching blood glucose monitoring technology.

But, while there has been some promising technological progress, integration of such a device is still several years away.

About the Author(s)

Katie Hobbins

Managing Editor, MD+DI

Katie Hobbins is managing editor for MD+DI and joined the team in July 2022. She boasts multiple previous editorial roles in print and multimedia medical journalism, including dermatology, medical aesthetics, and pediatric medicine. She graduated from Cleveland State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and promotional communications. She enjoys yoga, hand embroidery, and anything DIY. You can reach her at [email protected].

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