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Fitbit adds blood glucose tracking to its app
by João Carrasqueira
Fitbit is adding a new feature to its app that allows users to keep track of their blood glucose levels. Blood glucose measurements are part of the daily routine of many people, specifically those with diabetes, so Fitbit is hoping to make it easier to visualize past and current levels in one place, along with other health-related information.
These measurements are typically done by drawing blood, so Fitbit devices can't measure those levels themselves, but if you use the OneTouch Reveal app with a OneTouch monitoring system, the Fitbit app can import that data automatically, and support for other brands will be added over time. Otherwise, you can add the data manually.
The Fitbit app will allow users to set target ranges for their blood glucose, and view that information in the context of their habits, such as how much they exercised, slept, or ate that day. Additionally, Fitbit Premium members can see how often their levels were within range for the last 30 days, as well as share their information with their healthcare provider as part of their Wellness Report. Similarly, if you subscribe to Fitbit's Health Coach plan, users can give coaches access to their data so they can provide more adequate guidance.
Blood glucose tracking in the Fitbit app is rolling out in the United States and only in English.
Apple reportedly has a secret team developing diabetes sensors for the Apple Watch
by Justin Luna
The Apple Watch can monitor your heart rate The Apple Watch isn't simply just another smartwatch out there in the market. Aside from the power of accessing apps right from your wrist, it also can track your health, and see how your heart is doing.
With that in mind, it seems that Apple is exerting more effort towards using technology to better monitor your well-being. According to a report by CNBC, Apple has hired a small team of biomedical engineers to work in an office in Palo Alto to develop sensors that can non-invasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels to better treat diabetes.
The Cupertino company has also reportedly been conducting feasibility trials at clinical stores across the San Francisco Bay Area, and has hired consultants to figure out regulatory pathways.
This "super secret initiative" was initially envisioned by the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and the effort has been going on for at least five years, say the sources close to CNBC. Jobs envisioned wearable devices, like smartwatches, being used to monitor important body vitals, such as oxygen levels, heart rate, and blood glucose.
Sources also state that Apple is developing optical sensors, which involve shining light through the skin to measure levels of glucose. In turn, this could help improve diagnosis of patients, as well as more accurate treatment for them.
Should the initiative become a total breakthrough, it could make devices like the Apple Watch a must-have product, especially for people who suffer from diabetes, instead of making it simply an accessory that complements our smartphones and fashion sense.
Apple , however, has not publicly commented regarding the report.
The Apple Watch is already being used towards improving the health of people around the world. In London, England, a hospital was found to be using the Apple wearable to remind chemotherapy patients in taking their medication. Also, the watch's heart rate monitor was able to help save a man's life in California, with the device's findings matching up to a doctor's test.
Source: CNBC via The Next Web | Image via Apple
Drink a 20-ounce soda daily, and you may be causing your cells to age as much as they would if you smoked, a study suggests. Researchers investigated DNA from 5,309 adults, focusing on telomeres, the caps on the ends of our cells' chromosomes, Time reports.
They found that drinking sugary soda was associated with shorter telomeres?and it's known that telomere length may be linked to life span, according to a University of California-San Francisco report.
Shorter telomeres also appear to be linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. In the study, a daily 20-ounce soda was associated with an extra 4.6 years of aging?the same figure seen in smokers.
About 21 percent of subjects said they drank that much soda daily, while the average intake was 12 ounces. Researchers also looked at the effects of diet soda and fruit juice on telomeres; while "100 percent fruit juice was marginally associated with longer telomeres," they write in the American Journal of Public Health, diet sodas and non-carbonated "sugar-sweetened beverages" weren't associated with telomere length.
Still, the study points to the dangers of soda beyond its role in obesity. "The extremely high dose of sugar that we can put into our body within seconds by drinking sugared beverages is uniquely toxic to metabolism," says a study author.
David Cincotta was going about his business at a gas station in North Babylon, N.Y., last month when he noticed something troubling: a car rolling backward.
Cincotta, 43, ran after the car, managed to get inside, and put on the brakes before the vehicle could roll onto the street and into oncoming traffic, all of which was caught on tape by a security camera.
Cincotta, a father of six, spoke to WABC in New York about hearing the screams of the kids and giving chase. "I didn't even think," he said. "It was just 'Go.'"
What make's Cincotta's heroics even more impressive is his medical condition: Cincotta can't run.
"I have neuropathy up through my hips from diabetes, so I trip a lot, just walking," Cincotta said. "So for me to run, any of my friends who saw the video were like, 'I never seen you run like that.' Me, neither."
Gas station worker Naqqash Chaudhry told WABC, "I have no doubt in my mind that car would have been hit and those kids would have been injured."
The security footage shows the children's mother initially giving chase, but falling to the ground. The car then rolled over her leg. Cincotta jumped into the car and stopped it.
Cincotta told WABC that he hasn't talked to the mother since the incident last month, but that she did thank him profusely. "She gave me a big hug. She was crying, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.'"
Despite the car having rolled over her leg, the mother reportedly suffered only minor injuries.
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