Fitbit, a company that has become well-known for its activity trackers (wearable fitness devices that monitor things like heart rate and steps walked), recently announced it was making a substantial investment in diabetes technology. The San Francisco-based firm said it had made a $6 million investment in the technology company Sano.
Founded in 2011, Sano, also located in San Francisco, has focused on developing a biometric wearable mobile sensor that continuously monitors blood sugar levels. The company describes the device, which is contained in a small patch, as “completely painless” and says that it can help users understand how their diet and exercise affects their metabolism. Business analysts speculated that if Fitbit were to incorporate blood-sugar monitoring into its existing devices it could substantially increase its sales.
According to Fitbit CEO James Park, the investment in Sano “fits into our strategy of looking beyond the device and thinking more about (health) solutions. I think the complete solution comes in the form of having some monitoring solution that is coupled with a display and a wearable that can give you the interventions at the right moment.”
Sano’s device is expected to come onto the market in early 2019. Although it will most likely be aimed at people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, the company thinks it might also be used by people with prediabetes or by users just who want to know how their lifestyle affects their blood sugar.