Fitbit's Ionic to offer glucose monitoring for diabetics
Launched late last month, Fitbit's Ionic is the company's attempt at claiming some territory from smartwatch heavyweights like Apple and Garmin. Now the feature-packed wearable is set to gain a handy new piece of functionality, with the ability to display glucose levels on the user's wrist.
Glucose monitoring has long shaped as a high-potential application for wearable devices. These could one day come in the form of contact lenses that change color as glucose levels hit dangerous levels, or small biosensors that monitor bodily fluids and send alerts via a smartphone app instead.
Dexcom, developer of glucose monitoring products, has taken the latter approach, and that seems to gel well with Fitbit's vision for wearable computing. Dexcom's CGM (continuous glucose monitoring system) consists of a small sensor that measures levels just beneath the skin and transmits data wirelessly to a smartphone app.
But Dexcom and Fitbit have now joined forces to bring this data to the Ionic smartwatch. That means users of both Android and iOS devices will be able to have Dexcom's glucose data displayed on their wrist, beginning sometime in 2018.
"The strength of our brand and our ability to track critical health metrics continuously for up to 4-plus days, coupled with Dexcom's market leadership in CGM, present a powerful combination that we hope will help millions of people better manage their diabetes," says James Park, CEO of Fitbit. "With Ionic, we are focused on driving positive health outcomes and more health focused tools, and this collaboration is a wonderful example of how we plan to bring that vision to our users."
The Fitbit Ionic can be preordered for US$300, with shipping to kick off in October.
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Not so fast. You have to dig down pretty deep to realize that the Dexcom system are a pair of needles that go into your skin.
There was actually a company of CES 2 years ago which showed a near final prototype of a watch that can actually determine your glucose levels without puncturing your skin. It had a component which had to be replaced every 400 measurements, but it worked.