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NEEDLE-FREE MONITORING

The FDA has approved GlucoWatch, one of the first noninvasive blood sugar monitoring systems for diabetics. While it does not replace traditional finger-stick glucose checks (GlucoWatch results may be inaccurate about one-quarter of the time), it offers nearly continuous monitoring that can help improve blood sugar management, said Dr. Lori Laffel of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

Worn like a wristwatch, GlucoWatch absorbs and measures minute amounts of glucose from the skin. The prescription-only device costs about $450. It uses sensor pads that must be changed daily and cost about $5. For more information, call toll-free (866) 459-2824, or visit the manufacturer's Web site at www.glucowatch.com.

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