Garmin, a technology company well-known for fitness trackers and Fitbbase, an online fitness platform, have entered into a partnership and API integration which will allow Garmin wearables to support Fitabase’s research data management platform.
The partnership will enable Garmin to integrate its mHealth wearables with the digital health platform for clinical research, putting the Swiss company on line to compete with Fitbit and Apple for connected health projects.
The connected Garmin-Fitabase platform is already being used by researchers in a Copenhagen University study, who are exploring how physical activity during a pregnancy might impact the mother and child’s health, the companies said in a statement.
“We are incredibly excited to work with Fitabase and Garmin to capture novel endpoints for our project aimed at improving the health of mothers and children,” Signe de Place Knudsen, a fellow in Copenhagen University’s department of biomedical sciences, said in a statement from the companies. “Using friendly consumer devices paired with powerful research tools will make a significant impact on supporting the needs of our research.”
Researchers have increasingly been looking to consumer wearables as a means to track health data such as sleep, activity and heart rate without having to rely on the participants’ self-reported data, reports MobiHealthNews. This collaboration will help supply researchers and healthcare providers with data taken directly from wearables, rather than relying on the users. That integration will give providers a much objective view of the user’s daily life.
“The objective is that continuous data from Garmin wearables provides researchers a comprehensive window into activity, heart rate, sleep and even pulse ox data that may help to better understand the relationship between lifestyle behaviors and health outcomes,” Travis Johnson, Garmin Health global product lead, said in a statement.
Fitbase has for a longtime been a clinical research partner to Fitbit, one of Garmin’s main competitors. Previously, the two companies collaborated on a research data library, as well as on a community-based wearable pilot program conducted by the city of Santa Monica.
“Garmin is excited to work with an innovative company like Fitabase that’s focused on accelerating digital health research that will ultimately lead to the improvement of health outcomes and reduce costs for patients,” Johnson said in a statement. “The integration of the Garmin Health API with Fitabase is a great example of our commitment to provide a great user experience for participants involved in these studies and therefore better results through increased program adherence.”