Fitbit integrates with One Drop, powers Santa Monica's wearable pilot program

By Dave Muoio
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Fitbit’s wearables are at the heart of recent announcements from diabetes self-management platform One Drop and the City of Santa Monica’s Office of Civic Wellbeing. The first reveals an upcoming integration that will allow users to view Fitbit device data from within the One Drop Mobile app, while the latter describes a public health initiative that will provide residents of the city with Fitbit’s Alta device.

Bringing activity tracking to diabetes management

Beginning in November, One Drop will allow users to sync Fitbit data with their diabetes management app to easily view physical activity, sleep, and heart rate metrics. The data will also be incorporated into One Drop reports, offering physicians and owners of the service’s “Expert” and “Professional” versions another view of their personalized data. Further, the One Drop will begin to integrate these data into its own analytics, a move that the company says could pay off with new insights into physical activity and its impact on blood glucose levels.

"We strive to provide our community with the most comprehensive set of data and tools to manage their diabetes or prediabetes. Working with Fitbit, the leading global wearables brand, was a natural next step for One Drop," Jeff Dachis, CEO and founder of One Drop, said in a statement. "One Drop is among the top Health and Fitness apps in nearly 120 countries with over 600,000 downloads worldwide. By integrating Fitbit data and creating an app for Fitbit Ionic, we will be able to provide our users and their healthcare providers with more data and deeper insights to better manage their diabetes." 

One Drop said that it will be developing a new app for the FitBit Ionic using Fitbit’s newly released SDK, which will allow users to view all of their One Drop data through the wearable. In addition, One Drop users on any mobile platform will receive a special offer a Fitbit activity trackers through One Drop’s storefront.

"Our mission is to help make the world healthier, and our new Ionic smartwatch is the health platform that allows us to deliver our most advanced health and fitness features to the market," Adam Pellegrini, general manager of Fitbit Health Solutions, said in a statement. "This holistic experience brings the power of Fitbit data together with One Drop's sophisticated care management technology to provide meaningful insights on the role of physical activity and how it can improve the health of those living with diabetes.”

This is at least the second time Fitbit has integrated with a diabetes-related technology company. One of the first partners to announce integration with the Fitbit Ionic was continuous glucose monitor maker Dexcom.

Public health looks to wearables

In light of data suggesting that 48 percent of Santa Monica residents were not active for at least 20 minutes daily, the city has launched a six-month pilot project designed to uncover more specific information on residents’ health. With research support from Fitabase and the RAND Corporation, the study provides 200 randomly selected residents with Fitbit Alta devices that will track daily steps, travel distance, burned calories, and time spent active.

“Being and feeling healthy is essential to one’s overall sense of wellbeing, life satisfaction, and ability to lead a productive and happy life,” Lisa Parson, project manager in the Office of Civic Wellbeing in the City of Santa Monica, said in a statement. “Because of its popularity, ease of use, and large community, a Fitbit device is one tool that can help people to live healthy lives and manage health challenges. When individuals, families, and neighborhoods are healthy, a community can move towards greater wellbeing.”

The pilot program was designed by Fitabase, and a report analysis of the findings will be produced by the RAND Corporation. Both research organizations said that they were enthusiastic about the opportunity to help guide population health initiatives through innovative data collection and analysis.

“As leaders in digital health, we fully realize the massive potential wearable devices, such as the Fitbit Alta, have to help inform civic institutions and local governments about the lives of the citizens they serve,” Ernesto Ramirez, director of research and development at Fitabase, said in a statement.