Medtronic will bring its iPro2 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system, a tool used in diabetes care, to Fitbit wearable fitness devices as part of a partnership between the two companies.
The medical device maker, which maintains its U.S. operational headquarters in Fridley, announced the collaboration on Wednesday. The company said the convenience of Fitbit devices would allow diabetics to more easily understand and monitor the relationship between exercise and glucose levels.
Glucose, otherwise known as blood sugar, is a critical measurement tool in predicting if a diabetic is about to experience hypoglycemia, or insulin shock.
Medtronic said it would develop a mobile app version of its CGM system for the Fitbit, called the iPro2 myLog app. The app will be able to interpret data gathered by a Fitbit activity tracker and relate it back to glucose levels.
“Many patients are manually tracking and recording their physical activity, requiring them to recall and communicate that information to their physician from memory,” Medtronic said in its release. “MyLog will simplify the sharing of information with a patient’s health care team, facilitating productive discussions about care and the benefits of exercise on diabetes management.”
Beyond a Fitbit device, certain heart monitors and other clinical trackers using the iPro2 system can be used to record how a nutrition plan, medication and other daily activities can affect a person with diabetes. Medtronic’s ability to provide wide coverage monitoring capabilities is due in part to collaborations with other technology companies.
In May, Medtronic partnered with wireless tech development company Qualcomm Life in effort to develop “next-generation CGM systems.”
At the start of 2016, Medtronic also unveiled details behind an app it was creating with IBM and its Watson artificial intelligence program. That app, known as Sugar.IQ, was officially revealed in September and is said to be capable of predicting cases of hypoglycemia up to three hours in advance.
Through these partnerships, Medtronic is hoping to make a bigger splash within the $240 billion diabetes care market, which experts say
could grow even larger as the 415 million people living with diabetes worldwide is expected to grow by about 50 percent in the next 20 years.