Activity tracker firm Fitbit has made a $6 million investment in a bid to link its devices to patches which monitor glucoses levels.
San Francisco-based Fitbit has invested the money into an enterprise called Sano, which is looking for funding to further develop its coin-sized, glucose-monitoring sensors.
If successful, this link-up would see patches created by Sano linked to Fitbit’s wristbands and watches to provide a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) system. CGMs are able to take thousands of glucose readings a day and continuous trend patterns without having to take multiple blood tests.
James Park, chief executive of Fitbit, said: “This fits into our strategy of looking beyond the device and thinking more about [health] solutions. I think the complete solution comes in the form of having some monitoring solution that is coupled with a display, and a wearable that can give you the interventions at the right moment.”
Fitbit is a leader in the activity tracker market, with its wristbands or watches being able to track steps, calories burnt and sleep.
This venture marks Fitbit’s first investment in a start-up company, while it already has partnerships with wearable device makers Medtronic and Dexcom.
Sano hopes the sensors will be ready to hit the market in around 12 months’ time. They will be aimed at people who are at risk of type 2 diabetes and those with existing type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
While the patches created by Sano use tiny needles, Ashwin Pushpala, who is the chief executive of Sano, believes the technology is not as invasive as rivals, including the FreeStyle Libre, because it does not penetrate as deeply.
In September, it was reported that Fitbit and Dexcom had teamed up to develop a smartwatch which measures glucose levels.

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