Samsung watch still rumored to have glucose (and EKG) monitoring

(Bob M) #1

According to this, the next Samsung watch is supposed to have non-invasive glucose monitoring:

This is the technology they are using:

Apple is supposed to have CGM technology, too.

And, both are supposed to do ECG/EKG monitoring.

If this actually comes out and works, I’ll have to buy a watch. I’d love to do more testing for glucose, but the Free Style Libre is up to $150/month without insurance.

Watches That Measure Blood Sugar?
(Doug) #2

Bob - on doing an electrocardiogram, indeed, some Apple watches and the Fitbit ‘Sense’ (I got one last month) can do them, and have gotten approval for it in the U.S., The E.U. and some other countries. With the Fitbit you touch two different places on the watch for 30 seconds - you’re lightly squeezing the face of the watch on diagonal corners; to this point mine has always read, “Normal sinus rhythm.”

It also monitors sleep - light, deep, REM, how many times you woke up and for how long, etc. Also got a Garmin ‘Vivosmart 4’ since it’s cheap and it also does the sleep thing. They are close in results.

ECG/EKG and sleep studies - if there is a real concern, I would still get checked out by the medical establishment to confirm things.

I would LOVE it if a sports watch/fitness tracker could read blood glucose as well.


(GINA ) #3

Wow. That would be great. I am not diabetic, but I wore a CGM for a couple of weeks and it was very interesting.

I am attached to Garmin products, but once the tech is out there they will get it eventually. If they don’t I might be tempted to switch.

(Bob M) #4

@OldDoug Well, I have idiopathic (they don’t know what caused it) dilated cardiomyopathy (my heart was getting bigger; no longer, though), so I’ve used a “Holter monitor”, which is basically a 24 hour ECG/EKG.

But I have some oddities like a high heart rate on my heart rate monitor when I’m doing certain ab exercises that tighten my chest. I’ve worn the Holter monitor multiple times and specifically did those exercise, and the cardiologist said nothing is going on. But if the watch could tell me, I’d like to know.

I also have a left bundle branch block that is rate-related, meaning that it appears more with higher heart rates. When I take my morning blood pressure, I get a heart rate reading too. It’s normally slightly below 60bpm, but if I’ve ridden my bike, it’s in the 70s. I think this is the LBB (left bundle branch) block showing up and fooling the blood pressure monitor. This also shows up when I go to the cardiologist and they do an ECG, but I only go twice a year, and they only take an ECG once per year.

If the phone would let me know about this, it’d be helpful.

@GME My previous watch was a Citizen eco-drive, which uses light to charge an internal battery. It lasted 8 years before it quit. When I was looking at replacements, I considered a Samsung watch (since I have a Samsung phone), but I did not get one, as I had to charge it. I instead went again with a Citizen, as I like the idea of wearing a watch for almost a decade and not doing anything.

But if Samsung or Apple come out with a watch that is relatively accurate for a CGM, I’ll have to consider it.

I wore a Free Style Libre CGM for over a year (bought a supply from Sweden, than a US one). I learned a lot. For instance, people say that popcorn is bad, but for the amount of home-made popcorn we made, and I ate, I got zero blood sugar rise. (And for the number of times I eat popcorn, a few times a year, it’s not worth worrying about it.)

Similarly, I ordered what I thought was “safe” soup from an Asian restaurant, and my blood sugar went through the roof. Whatever they used to thicken it, I think that was the culprit.

And I tested meals of very high protein and did not get a blood sugar rise. I did not, however, compare say 1-2 weeks of 70% fat with 1-2 weeks of 70% protein to see what happens to daily blood sugar. That could be interesting.

I’m also still trying a high saturated fat with a TKD (targeted keto diet), where I eat some carbs the meal after my exercise. Does that raise blood sugar, and if so, how much? It’s possible to do this using pin-prick meters, but it’s hard to do.

For example, here’s Thanksgiving, 2017. We eat at “lunch”, so that spike to 9.7 is bread, potatoes, stuffing, at about 1pm. The next hump is dessert (cheesecake?). But each two lines is 1 hour, so for me (and this isn’t true for anyone near T2 diabetes), my blood sugar goes up and down in one hour. If I take pin-prick blood sugar before I eat and an hour later, they’d be the same, and I’d miss the entire “hump”. It wasn’t until I got a CGM that I realized what was happening.

(Ian) #5

@ctviggen, I to have been fascinated by my CGM. I wish I could afford to have it on all the time and would be very interested in a watch that could perform this function.

Like you I was super surprised that popcorn produced such a low blood glucose response, while certain sugar free or keto friendly products were brutal on my blood sugars. These and other readings made me realize that while the simplistic CICO argument may be fundamentally correct in the context of weight loss only, in no way does it provide an indication of the impact of different types of calories on health.

(Doug) #6

Ian, this is an interesting thing. Question for everybody - how would a sugar free product (like an artificial sweetener, for example) make blood sugar go up?

Insulin going up, just from thinking about it, from the sweet taste, etc. - sure, no problem there. But how would one’s blood sugar be increasing? I’d think if anything it would decline, in response to increased insulin.

(Bacon enough and time) #7

It shouldn’t be from the artificial sweetener, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that such products must be shown to have no effect on serum glucose, before the agency will approve the sweetener for sale. The effect could possibly be from other carbohydrates contained in the product.

(Bob M) #8

When I had my CGM, I was not using fake sugars or keto-friendly products. Now, I will eat some “no sugar added” ketchup, “no sugar added” BBQ sauce, even some “keto” ice cream bars, all infrequently. We’ve also started making sous vide cheesecake using fake sugar. It would be interesting to see how these product affect blood sugar.

And, I’d LOVE to have a home insulin meter, even a pin-prick one.

(Todd Allen) #9

Here you go!

Hopefully you have deep pockets and high tolerance for challenges faced by early product adopters. I also got the impression that compared to glucose testers this needs a LOT of blood.


I have a Samsung watch that does an EKG reading and provides a graph on my phone. I have seen that their blood glucose monitoring is Raman spectroscopy, a process using a laser to examine the chemical composition of glucose through the skin. Apparently, it has good accuracy.
If or when it comes out, I will be upgrading.

(Bob M) #11

I had seen that one, and was going to sign up. (Or perhaps I did sign up, at least to see more info? I’m not sure I had to sign up at one time.) I do remember it being expensive. The strips were quite expensive, and they show a Kraft test, and you’d need at least 3 or 4 strips for insulin for a Kraft test.

I think all technologies are like that, though. When I first started taking blood ketones, the strips were $5/each. After a while, I got them from Ebay for in the low $3s each. It wasn’t until Keto Mojo and the others came out that they were reasonable (and I still don’t think $1/strip is that reasonable…).

I remember lusting after a Plasma TV, which cost $10,000 for a 42 inch model when they came out. I later bought a larger model for $400.

I may resign up with meterbolic just to see what it is.

(Bob M) #12

Oh, I’m thinking of a different one. There’s another company I was going to try, which had a different plan where you could see the cost of the strips in addition to the meters. It was being funded similarly, where you put money in early. I did not sign up, though. The pandemic has caused a decrease in my income, and I’ve realized that our house is built like crap. So, a lot of my money is going to things like doors, windows, etc. And we had a cooling system failure, so we’re replacing that too. All that means I have more limited funds.

I do have some tests in mind, though, if I can swing the fees.

(Ian) #13

Hey Doug,

I subsequently found out that Smart Sweets use a lot of soluble fiber and although the sugar content was low, apparently its the soluble fiber derived from tapioca that gets converted to glucose and caused the spike. I found this out by following glucosegoddess on Instagram, as per the following:

When I tracked by BG with a CGM, I monitored the effect of Coke Zero on my BG. I found that drinking two (2) cans did nothing to my BG, which stayed almost flat, within normal daily drift. To me that suggests that diet pops do not spike BG, which would be expected, but also that they do not spike insulin, otherwise I would have seen a drop in BG, in response to the insulin release.

N=1, YMMV Yada Yada…

(Doug) #14

Ian, thanks - that makes sense. I’m seeing ‘SmartSweets’ marketed as “Delicious candy you can feel good about with up to 92% less sugar than traditional candy.”

So… :roll_eyes: :smile:

I really think the individual should monitor their own blood sugar, if it’s a concern. Too bad it costs as much money as it does… (Longer-lasting sensors would be nice.)

With fiber, I believe the selling point is often that including soluble and insoluble fiber is essentially “better than being on a high-carbohydrate diet without fiber.” I’m not at all trying to demean fiber, per se, and realize that some people do benefit from it (even when eating low-carb). Things like ‘SweetSmarts’ seem like dodgy nonsense to me, involving creative marketing with an eye toward getting away with as much obfuscation as they can. “Oh, so the sugar reduction could be as much as 92%, huh?” ‘As much as…’

Away from carbs - I’ve seen studies where the generalized conclusion was that some artificial sweeteners provoked an insulin response while others did not. Other studies found that some artificial sweeteners resulted in insulin secretion in certain individuals and not in other individuals.

Perhaps some are confusing ‘artificial sweeteners’ with substances that do have digestible carbohydrates in them - it’s recently come up in a Facebook group I’m in, i.e. “Sweetener X spikes my blood glucose.” An “insulin spike” - I could see that, but I do wonder what amount of increase would be actually observed. As for blood sugar though, I’m wondering, “Hey,wait a minute - where is this glucose coming from?”

(Bacon enough and time) #15

This is interesting, because non-sugar sweeteners for sale in the U.S. are supposed to have no measurable effect on serum glucose. (Effect on insulin is not studied, because the U.S. Food & Drug Administration doesn’t require it.)

So yeah, it’s probably that the food with the sweetener contains digestible carbohydrate.

(GINA ) #16

We can call it N=2 now, because the the exact same thing happened to me with a CGM and Coke Zero. No rise in BG at all (I didn’t even expect that) but no drop either as would have happened if it actually “OMG Spiked Insulin!” as some people like to say it will. I am about to get myself kicked out of a FB group for pointing it out.

I think there is a difference between artificial chemical sweeteners like aspartame or Splenda, and a sweetener that counts on people not metabolizing certain compounds like sugar alcohols or fiber- like sugar alcohols.

I tested different foods while wearing the CGM and noticed some things I didn’t expect. I had very little (like less than 5 points which is just normal variation) BG rise from a banana. An apple and an orange showed a normal rise, but no reaction to a banana.