Smartwatches are a great way to stay connected and in charge, and they're even more useful for people with diabetes. That's because this type of watch can help you with blood glucose monitoring, alert the owner when it is time for insulin shots, and help call emergency services if needed. Best of all? These watches connect to your phone and send all your blood glucose data to your app.

Diabetics dreamt of this for a long time to have quick access to their blood glucose levels. A smartwatch makes it possible to keep track of glucose levels on your wrist.

Many models have built-in Bluetooth so that the wearer can connect them to their phone or tablet for transmitting data via an app. Some diabetics use this feature daily by doing finger pricks and inserting test strips into compatible blood glucose meters or using a continuous glucose meter (CGM).

The watch displays results in real-time. If you're looking for accuracy, some bands come equipped with FDA-approved glucometers, which provide extremely accurate readings. These devices also take advantage of sensors like ECG and SpO₂ (blood oxygen level saturation) along with other useful features including fitness tracking features, sleep tracking, blood pressure, and heart rate monitoring.

Can A Smartwatch Track Blood Glucose Levels?

A smartwatch itself can't track blood glucose levels, but it can work together with a special app to help you monitor blood glucose levels. The device will pair up with your phone and record the data from the watch's sensors when you feel an increase or decrease in your blood glucose levels.

There are rumors that Apple Watch and Fitbit will announce direct blood glucose readings on their devices. However, at this point in time, there is no direct integration to get your glucose levels directly on the watch itself. This year, Apple and Samsung introduced their most recent timepieces, but neither the Galaxy Watch 4 nor Apple Watch 7 can measure sugar levels in the blood.

Which CGM Work With a Smartwatch?

A few market-leading CGMs that pair with most smartwatches include the Dexcom G-Series, Abbott Freestyle Libre, and Medtronic MiniMed 670G. The MiniMed 670G is a hybrid closed loop insulin pump that automatically adjusts basal rates to keep blood sugar levels in check. 

1. Dexcom

The Dexcom G6 mobile software is adaptable to both Apple and Android smartwatches.

The app's main screen offers a wealth of information. It contains your current glucose number and arrow trend, as well as graphs for 1-, 3-, 6- and 24-hour periods.

Dexcom and Apple Watch

2. Medtronic

Medtronic is the world's largest insulin pump maker, as well as the only one to manufacture a CGM, called the Guardian Connect.

There is no way to display real-time data from Medtronic on Apple or Android smartwatches yet. You can use the Medtronic mobile app on your phone to view real-time readings.

3. FreeStyle Libre

This system from Abbott Diabetes Care is known as a Flash Glucose Monitor.

To get a reading, users must manually wave their phone or scanner over the tiny circular sensor worn on the arm. There is no clear indication when Abbott will release a direct connection to a smartwatch but there are apps like DiaBox that can help you with a connection.

If you're looking for regular devices to monitor your blood sugar levels then take a look at a previous blog post about the best glucose meters.

What Is The Best Smartwatch for Diabetics?

Below you can find some of the best smartwatches for diabetics that will be sure to meet your needs!

The perfect watch for diabetics. Experience the next level of connectivity with the Apple Watch Series 7. Stay in touch with calls, texts, and emails, even when you’re away from your phone. Stream music, podcasts, and audiobooks on the go. And leave your phone at home without missing a beat.

With its always-on Retina display, you’ll have more screen area to see everything at a glance. Plus, it features the most crack-resistant front crystal yet on an Apple Watch. The Series 7 is also IP6X dust resistant and swim-proof so you can take it anywhere life takes you. And for added peace of mind, measure your blood oxygen levels, stress levels, sleep, and diet with the powerful sensors and apps included.

Specs and Features

  • Diabetes Compatibility: Dexcom Application + Other CGM via DiaBox
  • Weight: 32 g
  • Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters
  • Display: Crystal 41 Millimeters
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 LE, GPS, NFC SE, WiFi
  • Compatibility: Android, IOS
  • Battery Life: Up to 18 hours
  • Sensors & Applications: Fitness Tracker, Messages, GPS, Pedometer, Time Display, Weather, Sleep Monitor, Find My Phone, Reminders, Voice Assistant, Phone, Alarm, Multisport Tracker, Elevation Tracker, Heart Rate Monitor, Music Player, Activity Tracker, Blood Oxygen

The Fitbit Sense Advanced Smartwatch is the perfect choice for anyone looking to improve their heart health. The EDA Scan app detects electrodermal activity, which may indicate your body's response to stress, and the built-in skin temperature sensor logs your nightly sleep data so you can see how it varies.

This watch was built for people who are always on the go and need a battery that can keep up. With a 6 plus day battery life, this watch is perfect for the busy person who wants to stay connected without having to worry about their battery life. The fast charging capabilities give you a full day’s charge in just 12 minutes, so you can get back to your busy schedule as soon as possible.

You can also use the watch to assess your heart health for atrial fibrillation, and easily share results with your doctor. And finally, with the collection of clock faces that show your blood oxygen levels at a glance, you'll have all the information you need to keep an eye on your heart health!

Fitbit-Sense-Advanced-Smartwatch-with-Tools-for-Heart-Health

4.5/5 stars and 23,923 ratings

Specs and Features

  • Diabetes Compatibility: No application but connection via Clock Face settings (Dexcom)
    Weight: 45.9 g
  • Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters
  • Display: Crystal 41 Millimeters
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi
  • Compatibility: Android, IOS
  • Battery Life: 3 to 6 days
  • Sensors & Applications: Weather, Sleep Monitor, Reminders, Voice Assistant, Alexa, Phone, GPS, Heart Rate Monitor, Blood Oxygen, Activity Tracker

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the perfect device to help you reach your fitness goals. Its advanced sensors keep track of your pace and help you better achieve your run goals, while the comfortably sleek design makes it light enough to wear anywhere.

You can see if your heart rate is where you want it with the built-in heart rate monitor, and get automatically alerted if your watch detects a high or low heart rate. The integrated sleep tracker offers valuable insights on how to get a better night's sleep, and the watch also monitors your stress level. The long-lasting battery means you can stay powered up all day long.

SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch Active 2

4.5/5 stars and 46,992 ratings

Specs and Features

  • Diabetes Compatibility: Dexcom, One Drop, or third-party applications
  • Weight: 42 g
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Display: 44 Millimeters AMOLED Gorilla Glass
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi, 4G, NFC
  • Compatibility: Android, IOS
  • Battery Life: Up to 6 days
  • Sensors & Applications: Weather, Sleep Monitor, Reminders, Voice Assistant, Alexa, Phone, GPS, Heart Rate Monitor, Blood Oxygen, Activity Tracker

The Fossil Men's Gen 6 Touchscreen Smartwatch has all the features you need to keep your life on track. It uses Wear OS by Google, which is compatible with phones running the latest version of Android or iOS. Plus, it has a Qualcomm 4100+ chipset for a 30% enhanced performance.

You'll love how this smartwatch automatically tracks your activity goals, steps, sleep, heart rate, cardio, and SpO2 (blood oxygen). And with GPS tracking capabilities, you can accurately monitor your distance and path during workouts. Plus, its advanced sensors provide data that can power all of your health and fitness tracker apps.

Fossil Men's Gen 6 Touchscreen Smartwatch

4/5 stars and 421 ratings

Specs and Features

  • Diabetes Compatibility: Tracking via third-party applications
  • Weight: N/A
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Display: Gorilla Glass Protection
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 LE, GPS, NFC SE, WiFi
  • Compatibility: Android, IOS
  • Battery Life: Approx 24+ hours
  • Sensors & Applications: Sleep Monitor, Calendar, GPS, Heart Rate Monitor, Email, Sedentary Reminder, Activity Tracker, Pedometer, Time Display, Distance Tracker, Text Messaging, Phone Call, Notifications, Music Player

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line smartwatch with extended battery life, look no further than the TicWatch Pro 3. This innovative device features dual-layer display technology that allows you to use it in Smart Mode for up to 3 days or switch to Enhanced Essential Mode for up to 45 days of battery life.

The watch also monitors your health and fitness, with multiple sports modes, built-in GPS, barometer, and 24-hour heart rate monitoring. And for added functionality, the TicWatch Pro 3 now includes Sleep Tracking, Stress Monitoring, Noise Detection, and more.

TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smart Watch

4.5/5 stars and 2,690 ratings

Specs and Features

  • Diabetes Compatibility: Dexcom, Freestyle Libre, and Medtronic CGM via xDrip+ and Glimp
  • Weight: 41.9g
  • Water Resistance: IP68 + Pool swimming suitable
  • Display: Gorilla Glass Protection
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and GPS, 4G LTE
  • Compatibility: Android, IOS
  • Battery Life: 3-45 Days Battery Life
  • Sensors: Sleep Tracking, GPS, Blood Oxygen, Glonass+Galileo, Stress Monitoring, PPG Heart Rate Sensor, Accelerator, Gyroscope, Ambient Light Sensor, Barometer

The Garmin Venu 2 Smartwatch is perfect for keeping track of your health and fitness. With extensive health monitoring features, you can see detailed information on your Body Battery energy levels, sleep score, fitness age, and more. You can also find new ways to get moving with the built-in sports apps. And when paired with a compatible smartphone, you'll have access to safety and tracking features like incident detection and assistance.

Burn calories, monitor your health and stay connected with the latest fitness tracking features on the Garmin Venu 2 Smartwatch. With more than 25 built-in sports apps, you can find a way to get moving that fits your lifestyle. And with incident detection and assistance features, you can feel safe and secure while enjoying your favorite outdoor activities.

Garmin Venu 2 Smartwatch with Advanced Health Monitoring

4.5/5 stars and 4,213 ratings

Specs and Features

  • Diabetes Compatibility: Dexcom and Freestyle Libre via watch face setup
  • Weight: 49 g
  • Water Resistance: 5ATM
  • Display: Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Storage: 650 songs
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS 
  • Battery Life: 12 days
  • Sensors: Health Snapshot™ Feature, Body Battery™ Energy Monitoring, Pulse Ox Sensor, Stress Tracking, Hydration Tracking, Respiration Tracking, Sleep Score and Advanced Sleep Monitoring, Wrist-Based Heart Rate, Mindful Breathing, Fitness Age, On-Screen Workouts, Built-In Sports Apps, Advanced Strength Training

Which Smartwatch Can Monitor Blood Sugar Levels?

Since 2001 we had the first diabetes watch introduced by GlucoWatch. They tried non-invasive glucose monitoring without the need of penetrating the skin. Unfortunately, they never got FDA approval and had to stop their product in 2007.

Other brands like K'Watch tried to create a non-invasive glucose monitor but none of them really took off.

Today we are grateful that smartwatches can just display the glucose readings on a mainstream watch. Most of the common models compatible with CGM devices include the Apple Watch, Android Wear, Fitbit, and Samsung.

The data from your CGM sensor/transmitter is received by the phone app through Bluetooth. So it's not really the smartwatch monitoring your blood sugar levels but it's more like they act as a conduit to show you what is going on.

The below video wil guide you through other smartwatches for people with diabetes and its essentials.

How Does A Smartwatch Help Diabetic Patients?

A smartwatch is an amazing device that can help diabetics in a number of ways. For example, they can be alerted when their blood sugar reaches high or low levels and take the appropriate action to correct it. In addition, they can track food intake, physical activity, and insulin doses to better manage diabetes.

If you're looking for a way to help keep tabs on your diabetes while still being able to stay connected with the world, then a smartwatch is the perfect device for you! Be sure to do your research before purchasing one so that you get the watch that best suits your needs.

Do Smartwatches Show Accurate Blood Glucose Readings?

Since smartwatches can't do direct blood glucose readings they can't do this accurately. The only way a smartwatch can read your blood glucose is by tracking blood glucose levels via specific apps of your CGM brand like Dexcom.

What to Look for When Buying a Smartwatch

1. Battery Life

One of the most important things to consider when buying a smartwatch is its battery life since many times you'll only get one full charge per night and it's not always reliable for all brands. But if your watch can last up to several days without charging then this will certainly help with diabetes management since you don't have to worry about plugging in every night or two as some watches require right now.

2. Water Resistance

Before buying a smartwatch it's important to check if it is water-resistant or not because you don't want your watch to stop working when you're swimming or taking a shower.

Most smartwatches are waterproof up to a certain depth, but there are some that can be submerged in water without any damage so make sure to double-check before purchasing one.

3. Compatible Devices

Some smartwatches might only work on specific devices, so it's important to check that your phone or tablet is compatible with the watch you're considering.

This isn't as big of an issue as it used to be since most smartwatches now have cross-platform compatibility, but make sure to double-check just in case.

4. Sensor Used

The sensor or device you are using to measure your blood sugar isn't always compatible with all smartwatches. So if you're using a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) then make sure the watch you buy is compatible with that sensor type.

Otherwise, you might be limited to certain brands or models of smartwatches that will work best for your needs.

Conclusion

With the right smartwatch, you can stay connected to your diabetes management while still being able to enjoy a full life. Be sure to do your research before purchasing one so that you get the watch that is most appropriate for your needs and lifestyle.

Sources

To ensure that we give you correct, accurate, and relevant information, all articles on Diabetic & Me are backed by verified information from academic research papers, well-known organizations, research institutions, and medical associations.

About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville and I am the founder of Diabetic & Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996 I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I am currently using a Freestyle Libre CGM and a Minimed 640G insulin pump with Humalog.

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