We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Fitbits have revolutionized the fitness tracker game. It standardized the features now commonplace in its competitors’ products and brought consumers a smartwatch fitness tracker high bred that offers unprecedented utility and function.
Alongside heart rate, blood pressure, and sleep cycle, blood sugar levels are among the more common personal stats that users want their watch to track. While the functionality for the first three is there, the question of blood sugar still remains.
Can a Fitbit Track Blood Sugar?
Yes, it can. Although, it’s not as simple as just slapping on your Fitbit and going for a jog. You see, while the Fitbit Iconic series allows you to view your glucose levels on its screen, it isn’t actually the device that takes the reading.
Back in 2017, Fitbit teamed up with a company called Dexcom. This company specialized in creating continuous glucose monitoring technology for people with diabetes. The idea the guys over at Fitbit had was to combine the two to allow users to keep an eye on their levels easily.
If you are unaware of how it works, the continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices are a sensor that sits under a person’s skin and records glucose levels every few minutes. The sensors have a transmitter attached to them, which allows a variety of smartwatches to pick up on the data, including the Fitbit iconic.
Dexcom’s products are specialized and require you to insert the device yourself.
How to Install a Dexcom CGM
Bundles of Dexcom CGMs range in price, running anywhere from $350 dollars all the way up to $500 dollars and come in packs of different numbers of sensors. To get started, you need to have your sensor applicator, transmitters, alcohol wipes, and skin prep wipes.
Keep in mind, the first time you do this, it’s going to feel a bit strange and intrusive. However, the more you do it, the more you become accustomed to the feeling. The process of installing the sensor is a bit complex, and it is recommended that you take a look at Dexcom’s official documentation on the subject.
First, make sure to sterilize your hands and the area of skin you are going to be working with. Make sure you don’t handle the adhesive part of the sensor as you are opening it. Then, select a part of your stomach where you are going to insert the sensor. If you can, choose a flat area of the stomach, away from your waistband, and free of scar tissue.
When doing this, make sure that the site you select is at least three inches away from your insulin pump infusion set. For subsequent injections, make sure you do not use the same area twice.
Allow the sterilized area of skin to dry, then remove the adhesive pads from your injector, and line it up with the site you have chosen. Apply the adhesive tape to your skin horizontally and take out the safety lock. Grab a solid hold of your stomach, at the part that the adhesive is attached to, and get a good grip of the applicator. Then push the plunger down with your thumb. Move your fingers below the collar of the applicator and pull it up.
Hold the ribbed sides of the sensor pod, rock the applicator back and forth, and remove it. Next, you need to attach the transmitter. Make sure it has been wiped down with an alcohol wipe and allowed to dry. Attach it to the slot in the sensor pod, ensuring that it is in the right way. Then, twist off the transmitter latch, and you’re done!
How to Connect Your CGM to Your Fitbit
This process is really quite simple. Download the Dexcom share app on your Fitbit device. From there, log into your account, and it should automatically sync up.
Are There Any Other Fitness Trackers That Monitor Blood Sugar Levels?
Yes, there are a few non-Fitbit alternatives available on the market at the moment. Most notable among these is the Apple Watch. However, there are plenty of non-mainstream brands that allow you to monitor your glucose levels.
There is also a CGM specific smartwatch, called the K’Watch Glucose, that is currently in development, and meant to be released soon. French company PKvitality is behind the device and are heralding the watch as a significant leap forward in glucose monitoring technology.
It runs off of a patented ‘SkinTaste technology’ and features a biosensor that measures glucose content. PKvitality claims that the watch can monitor levels in real-time and alert users to unhealthy levels immediately via an accompanying phone app.
This technology is unlike any seen in the industry up to this point, so one has to wonder whether or not the device can actually fulfill these promises. There have been claims like this made in the past that have fallen flat, so keep a healthy skepticism about you.
The company is still running tests on the watch, and development is not complete. However, speculation has a 2020 release date in mind.
They all use the same method, though. That being a CGM. So if you are looking for a magic solution to easy blood sugar monitoring, unfortunately, you won’t find it here.
That is until the K’Watch Glucose comes out. If it works, and that’s a big if.
Can a Fitbit monitor blood sugar levels? Yes, it absolutely can, just not on its own. The Fitbit only displays the data to you. The device that actually records the information is a CGM, or continuous glucose monitor, developed by CGM.
The device injects into your skin, and syncs up with your watch, giving you regular updates on your glucose levels. However, the only Fitbit that works with this technology is the Iconic series; otherwise, you’re out of luck.
You can use alternative smartwatches to monitor your levels, though. The Apple Watch has built-in support for the technology, and there is a whole host of third-party companies that support it as well.
There is a revolutionary glucose monitor called the K’Watch Glucose rumored to be hitting stores in 2020, so if you have the patience, maybe sit on your hands until this one comes out.