Fitbit already gives you the ability to monitor your heart health, stress, and blood oxygen levels on some of its watches. Now the company is eyeing blood glucose-monitoring with a new feature in the Fitbit app.
The addition is good news for those with diabetes, as well as anyone with a medical condition that might need to track their blood sugar. But to be clear, this isn’t a non-invasive alternative to pricking your finger with a glucometer. This is a software update that allows users to log or import their blood sugar levels, and then see how they relate to other health metrics like sleep, exercise, and food over time. The app will also let users set personalised ranges so they can potentially identify other factors that might affect their blood sugar levels. You can also enable on-wrist reminders to log your blood sugar.
Fitbit Premium users will get a few more perks, like seeing how frequently their glucose levels fall within a target range each month and other data trends. Premium users will also get the ability to share their blood glucose data via Fitbit’s Wellness Report feature.
While users can manually log their measurements, Fitbit says anyone who uses the OneTouch Reveal app from LifeScan can also automatically import their data. The company says that it plans to integrate with other meters and apps soon. To enable the feature, you can go into the Fitbit app’s Discover tab, hit Health & Fitness Stats, and add Blood Glucose. (If you don’t see it there yet, you might have to wait a bit as Fitbit says the feature will be rolling out this month.)
More broadly speaking, it looks like blood glucose-monitoring might be the Next Big Thing in health tech. Rumour has it that both Apple and Samsung are working on ways to non-invasively monitor blood sugar in their next smartwatches. We also saw a non-invasive blood glucose-monitoring smartwatch prototype at this year’s CES. These are definitely more ambitious than what Fitbit’s currently offering, but those watches also may never see the light of day. A device that inaccurately reports blood sugar levels could be far more life-endangering than say, one wonky ECG reading, so these proposed devices will also need FDA clearance before they hit the market.
Fitbit’s feature doesn’t need FDA clearance because it’s strictly a tool to help you monitor your data. That said, it does come with a disclaimer: This is not a replacement for a proper diagnosis from your doctor, nor is it something you should base your treatment on without talking to a physician.
Fitbit is also making its health features accessible to more users by extending access to its Health Metrics dashboard. The feature was introduced with the Sense and Versa 3 this past fall, but now it’ll be available for Versa 2, Inspire 2, and Charge 4 users, though you’ll be limited to the trends from the past week. As with blood glucose monitoring, Fitbit Premium members will gain the ability to see personal ranges within that dashboard as well. Charge 4 users also get a little SpO2 treat in an upcoming update that will allow them to see readings directly on-wrist; they’ll also be able to view SpO2 and skin temperature data in the dashboard.
Meanwhile, Fitbit Sense users in Canada, New Zealand, and U.S. territories will also get the ECG app this month as well.
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for news of the app’s release in Australia.