Fitbit users can now track their blood glucose levels within the device’s connected app, the company announced Monday in a blog post.
Users can import their blood sugar data automatically by connecting with their LifeScan OneTouch Reveal app or by manually logging their levels. Fitbit will be adding other glucose meters and apps in the future, it said in the announcement.
Within the Fitbit app, users can set personalized ranges to help visualize what activities and health decisions keep them within their target range. Additionally, the app displays all the data in one place to show how their blood glucose levels fluctuate throughout the day based on physical activity, food, sleep and other lifestyle choices.
Fitbit Premium members will be given access to see how often their levels fell within their target range over a 30-day period, along with insights into how the time of the reading impacts the result. They will also be able to share their blood glucose readings with a healthcare provider within their Wellness Report.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Monitoring blood glucose levels has four main purposes for people living with diabetes, according to a report from the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. It allows for immediate confirmation of high or low blood sugar levels, prompt treatment through self-adjustments, education on what factors impact levels and motivation for healthy behaviors.
Regular monitoring is the “most important thing” people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can do to manage their condition, because it helps prevent complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With Fitbit’s latest feature, people living with diabetes can manage their blood sugar levels alongside other health data like activity, nutrition, sleep, stress and weight. With all of the data in one place, people can see how all the metrics fit together for a more holistic approach, Fitbit said in the blog.
THE LARGER TREND
Using technology to self-monitor Type 2 diabetes can help adults better understand how their lifestyle impacts their blood glucose levels and in turn, helps them make healthier decisions, according to research from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
This isn’t Fitbit’s only foray into blood glucose tracking. In 2019, the company partnered with Taiwan-based diabetes management app Health2Sync to integrate Fitbit’s health data with the Health2Sync app to give its users a comprehensive way to manage their diabetes.
The results of that partnership showed that Fitbit wearable devices with Health2Sync’s Patient Management Platform can help users control and better manage the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes.
In other Fitbit news, Google completed its acquisition of the wearable-maker after it was held up by regulatory review for over a year. While it waited for the deal to close, Fitbit busied itself with COVID-19 research and its heart rate variability study. It also added the long-awaited electrocardiogram features to its wearables after receiving regulatory clearance last September.
ON THE RECORD
“Keeping blood sugar in control is also critical in reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other complications,” said Kelsey Maloney, an associate editor at Fitbit, in the blog post. “Not to mention, seeing how it all fits together can help you lead a healthy lifestyle, and here at Fitbit we know how important that is, which is why we have brought you new blood glucose tracking with Fitbit.”