Noninvasive glucose monitoring: comprehensive clinical results. Cygnus Research Team

JAMA. 1999 Nov 17;282(19):1839-44. doi: 10.1001/jama.282.19.1839.


Context: Intensive diabetes management using frequent blood glucose measurements to guide therapy has been shown to significantly improve short- and long-term outcomes. Development of a device that makes possible frequent, automatic, painless, and accurate measurements of glucose would facilitate intensive management.

Objective: To determine the accuracy of the GlucoWatch automatic glucose biographer (Cygnus Inc) compared with that of serial blood glucose measurements.

Design: Multicenter comparative study of the GlucoWatch biographer and the HemoCue blood glucose analyzer (Aktiebolaget Leo) performed between August 29 and October 17, 1998. Participants wore up to 2 biographers during the 15-hour study session and performed 2 fingersticks per hour for comparative blood glucose measurements. The biographers were calibrated with a single HemoCue measurement after a 3-hour warm-up period. Diet and insulin were manipulated to produce a broad glycemic range during the study.

Setting: Controlled clinical environment at 2 diabetes centers and 3 contract research organizations in the United States.

Participants: A total of 92 subjects (mean [SD] age, 42.1 [15.1] years; 59.8% women) with type 1 or 2 diabetes requiring treatment with insulin.

Main outcome measures: Mean error, mean absolute error, correlation, slope, and intercept using Deming regression, and clinical significance of differences between biographer readings and blood glucose measurements using the Clarke error grid.

Results: Results showed close tracking of blood glucose over a range of 2.2 to 22.2 mmol/L (40-400 mg/dL) for up to 12 hours using a single point calibration. The biographer readings lagged behind serial blood glucose values by a mean of 18 minutes. An analysis of 2167 data pairs shows a linear relationship (r = 0.88; slope = 1.03; intercept = -0.33 mmol/L [-6 mg/dL]) between biographer readings and serial glucose measurements. The mean absolute error between the 2 measurements was 15.6% (mean error [SD], -0.07 [1.82] mmol/L [-1 [33] mg/dL]), and 96.8% of the data fell in the therapeutically relevant regions of the error grid analysis.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate close agreement between GlucoWatch biographer readings and blood glucose measurements using repeated fingerstick blood samples. The automatic, frequent, and noninvasive measurements obtained with the biographer provides more information about glucose levels than the current standard of care.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / instrumentation*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male


  • Blood Glucose