Blood Glucose Meters

Health self-tracking is in vogue. But is it more of a boon or a burden? Thomas Goetz

Blood Glucose Meters

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The Diabetic's Paradox

Asking people to monitor their own health and change behaviors according to their own data -- self-tracking -- is the premise behind a deluge of mobile apps, new wearable devices, and patient services. The practice offers lots of hope for a world where so many ills and diseases are the result of human behavior. But self-tracking isn't a panacea. It's a complicated process, and one that can easily backfire. Just ask the 26 million Americans with diabetes.

In the late 1970s, U.S. physicians began asking patients with diabetes to try something new: Instead of coming to the doctor's office for periodic tests of blood glucose level and blood pressure, the patients were given tools to draw…

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Last Updated : Thursday, February 11, 2021