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May 24, 2015 | by  | in Science |
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Better Watch Your Health

Wristwatches seem to be getting smarter, if we’re basing this judgement of intelligence on their ability to do more than tell the time. As Apple and Google battle it out for wrist dominance, smartwatches are beginning to drive fitness trackers such as the FitBit into obsolescence with apps that measure more than just exercise.

Github user StephenBlackWasAlreadyTaken (I’m going to assume his name is Stephen Black) has just released an app called NightWatch which helps people with diabetes monitor their blood glucose levels. NightWatch uses Bluetooth to wirelessly communicate with a continuous blood glucose monitor—a sensor that sits just under the skin and takes blood glucose readings every five minutes. NightWatch receives this data from a wireless transmitter and displays it as a 24 hour graph on the face of an Android Wear smartwatch. It also gives alerts whenever the blood glucose readings rise or fall too far.

Continuous blood glucose monitors are currently expensive and the sensors need to be replaced every seven days. However, non-invasive technologies for blood glucose are being developed and the app shows the ways in which wearable technology can aid those living with chronic illness to manage their condition. Says one reddit user, “No more digging around for the stupid receiver in my pocket—just a flick of the wrist, and I know what my body is doing. I’ve been a type 1 diabetic since age 12, and am now 27. This is such an amazing thing for me. While it may seem like a small thing, I love it, and the development team deserves some recognition!”

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