HH1 – High Heart Rate = Possible Low Blood Sugar?

heart-rateThe traditional approach to measuring blood sugar levels is to draw some actual blood from somewhere, usually your finger, deposit it on a special paper strip and then insert it into a device called a glucometer.   The device then quickly presents you with the measurement.

This approach works great when you’re awake and can do it yourself.  But what if you’re asleep?

I don’t want something that needs a sensor implanted under the skin since that would violate three out of my six Requirements listed in my prior post, safety being the biggest (infection risk).  So what are the alternatives?

It seems that there may be a correlation between a very low blood sugar level and heart rate.  I am trying to get smarter about this now (if you know anybody who could help please send them my way).  But with the online research I’ve done and the diabetics I’ve spoken to a relationship does appear to exist.  All I’m really looking for here is a statistically relevant correlation, not a certainty.

So I’ve set up a quick prototype of a device that will monitor my heart rate while I sleep.  It includes a BUGbase + BUGvonHippel module (from my company Bug Labs).  I’m also using a custom module we put together that uses a Polar radio receiver (from Sparkfun) and a Polar strap that I wear around my chest.  Lastly, we wrote a simple program that runs on the BUG to log the data.

If this works, then the next step will be to modify the program to do something if certain trends in heart rate are detected.  But I will save that part for another post because I want to see if this first experiment works.  I will report back shortly.

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