Garmin, Fitabase to Collaborate on Analysis of Wearables Data

October 25, 2018 | Eric D. Fader | Electronic Health Records | Medical Devices and Wearables | Telehealth

Garmin International, best known in the U.S. for its GPS navigation units, has announced a collaboration with Fitabase to analyze digital health data from Garmin’s wearable devices, including activity trackers and smartwatches. The alliance puts Garmin in direct competition with Apple and Fitbit, both of which use data from their devices in healthcare research.

Fitabase, based in San Diego, has worked with more than 150 academic and clinical institutions on over 500 studies, according to Garmin’s press release. The alliance will allow healthcare providers and researchers to access activity, heart rate and sleep data taken directly from Garmin’s wearables, instead of relying on users to send in the data.

Apple appears to have the lead in the wearables research market at present, with its recently released Apple Watch Series 4 adding an electrocardiogram sensor and app to the more standard array of fitness-tracking capabilities. Fitbit recently launched Fitbit Care, a telehealth platform that will link consumers to their care providers and health plans for remote monitoring and coaching.

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