Fitabase inks integration deal to make Dexcom data available to researchers

Dexcom is the third company to partner with the wearable-based research company, after Fitbit and Garmin.
By Jonah Comstock

Photo courtesy Fitabase.

Researchers who use Fitabase to capture data from Fitbit and Garmin devices will soon be able to capture a new kind of data: continuous glucose monitoring data from Dexcom products.

The ability to capture glucose values, as well as calibrations, syncs, and alerts, from Dexcom CGMs will allow researchers to study the interplay between blood glucose and the activity, heart rate, and sleep — the metrics Fitbit and Garmin devices currently track.

“This partnership with Dexcom opens the door to a very new and exciting area of research,” Fitabase CEO Aaron Coleman said in a statement. “With the integration of high-resolution continuous glucose data into the Fitabase platform, researchers have a powerful new dataset to combine with our existing data tools around activity, sleep and heart rate.”

Why it matters

Consumer wearables have tremendous potential in all kinds of research, but because of proprietary concerns and consumer design, it can be hard to safely and securely extract high-quality, accurate data from them. Fitabase is focused on bridging this gap.

“CGM data is something our customers have been requesting for a while,” Coleman said. “We’re very pleased that we’ve figured out how to integrate this in a way that is accessible to researchers but can still be collected in a de-identified and secure way that protects privacy and adheres to informed consent guidelines. With the Dexcom devices reporting five-minute readings, this rich dataset should open the door to studies addressing all kinds of new research questions with precision levels unavailable previously.”

What’s the trend

After years of working exclusively with Fitbit, Fitabase teamed up with Garmin last fall. With the news of the Dexcom integration, it’s becoming clear that the company wants to work with a wide range of consumer devices.

Another company that’s tackling the problem of consumer wearables in research is Shimmer, which recently unveiled a new wearables platform for clinical trials. But while Shimmer is introducing its own devices as an alternative to consumer trackers, Fitabase aims to let researchers have their cake and eat it too, using consumer devices without sacrificing security or data precision.

On the record

“Integration of Dexcom CGM devices into one of the leading connected device data management and research platforms will further extend the reach and benefits of our technology, while highlighting Dexcom’s ecosystem-enhanced approach to innovation in diabetes,” Annika Jimenez, SVP of data at Dexcom, said in a statement.