On March 22, The FDA finally announced that the Glucwatch was granted clearance for use along but not replacement for finger-prick blood test to monitor glucose. It is expected to be available for retail sale later this year.
The Glucwatch will be available by prescripcion only and is intended for adults 18 and over. Following a three-hour warm up period the meter collects glucose from the intersticial fluid just underneath the surface of the skin. The Glucowatch measures and displays glucose levels automatically as often as every 20 min for up to 12 hours. It also creates an "electronic diary" storing up to 4000 BG readings that can be reviewed at the touch of a button. The Glucowatch sets personal glucose-alert levelsso that an alarm sounds if readings are too high or low of if readings decline rapidly.
In clinical studies however the Glucwatch had a 20 min lag time between the Glucwatch and standard blood glucose meters. Also it was noted that rapid temperature changes, excessive sweat,electrical noise, high background currents and open and short circuits caused the Glucowatch to "skip" 26% of all test. Side effects of the Glucwatch monitor include mild skin irritation, edema (accumulation of fluid) and erythema (redness of the skin) that n clinical studies went away after the Glucwatch was removed.
The Glucwatch should cost between 250-300 US Dollars and the disposable sensor pads will cost 4 or 5 Dollars each. The sensor pads works up to 12 hours each.