Digital health includes the use of sensors, smartphones, and software to collect and store important health data. Wearable sensors are new technologies that are part of the digital health revolution. The most well-known wearable sensor is a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). These sensors provide many benefits to patients, including the ability to monitor important health data continuously and automatically. Wearable sensors, like CGM’s, can also send this data directly to doctors and healthcare professionals to help them diagnose, treat, and prevent health problems.

Continuous ketone measurement is here

Researchers from Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI) published data on a new type of wearable sensor which continuously measures ketones. Blood ketones are a key measurement for any patient with type 1 diabetes and for some with type 2 diabetes to prevent and reverse diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is a very serious complication of diabetes where the blood becomes too acidic. Until recently, the only way to measure ketones was a blood or urine test. The downside of this test is that it can only give one single measurement, like a snapshot in time.

Who benefits?

SDRI tested new continuous ketone monitoring systems. This system places a sensor under the skin, similar to a CGM. The sensor lasts 14 days and is very accurate. More research is needed, but this is an encouraging first step. In general, patients rarely check their ketone levels as recommended, so this new device could be very helpful. Looking forward, we need to find out which groups of people with diabetes will benefit from this technology. Another question is whether people without diabetes may be interested in this technology, for example, people following ketogenic diets.


Photo by Sansum Diabetes Research Institute