Fitbit has announced a new strategic partnership with Dexcom that will see them jointly develop new features. Dexcom is known for its glucose monitoring devices for people with diabetes, while Fitbit is known for its various fitness-focused wearables. Now, thanks to a new partnership by the two, the companies will be bringing the data collected by Dexcom's devices to various Fitbit products, therefore giving users a better insight into their health condition.
To kick the partnership off, Fitbit has confirmed that the first product to benefit from Dexcom's data will be the recently-announced Fitbit Iconic. By doing this, owners of the device will eventually have access to both their recent activities and their glucose levels through the fitness device as well as within an app on their smartphone, be it Android or iOS. In addition to this, users will also be able to connect with people through Fitbit's Community, where they will be permitted to share their experiences and ask for tips or help from others. It's important to note that the features will not bring constant glucose monitoring to the Iconic smartwatch, instead, users will need to connect a Dexcom device to Fitbit's app, but having the data on the smartwatch alongside other fitness-related information should prove helpful to many. New features will not be available to Iconic owners immediately, though, with the features currently in development, but the companies have confirmed that they targeting an early 2018 release. Nonetheless, considering the World Health Organization estimates that there are more than 400 million people living with diabetes, demand for the device could experience a sudden surge once the new health features are released.
Fitbit has stated that they are focused on introducing more "health-focused tools," with the new partnership being just one example of this, suggesting that the Iconic or other Fitbit devices could receive even more health-related features over time. This new partnership is a clear sign of Fitbit's hopes to move away from fitness-only devices and into the health-related market, similar to the plans of the original Jawbone. Both Dexcom and Fitbit have confirmed that they will be actively working together to develop new features that could benefit people diagnosed with diabetes. For now, though, it's the case of a waiting game for anybody interested in the upcoming features, but investors in the company appear to be pretty impressed, with shares up 13 percent - their highest level since January.