This is the first time that Fitbit has invested in a startup and while it has yet to be confirmed by Fitbit, it could be a precursor to them incorporating glucose monitors into their own future wearable products.
“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,” continued Park.
Sano’s technology is a coin-sized patch that uses tiny needles to track blood sugar levels. According to Sano CEO, Ashwin Pushpala, their device will be cheaper and less painful than other glucose testing options on the market because the needles don’t deeply penetrate the skin.
Pushpala added that their device is expected to go to market in a year and will target those living with diabetes, pre-diabetes and even people interested in seeing how food and exercise affect their blood sugar levels.
Fitbit competitors like Apple and Google’s Alphabet life sciences division, Verily, are also reportedly working on incorporating non-invasive blood glucose monitors into their wearables; however it’s still a work in progress.
Fitbit’s investment in Sano is the latest in a line of collaborative efforts the wearable manufacturer has embarked on in the health sector. For example, in 2016 Fitbit collaborated with Medtronic to integrate health and activity tracking for patients living with diabetes to share with their physicians.