More than 400 million people worldwide have diabetes, and the key to managing the disease and avoiding complications is the careful control of your body’s blood sugar levels. Until recently, patients had to rely on a finger prick to get a drop of blood that could be analyzed by a portable device. This can be inconvenient for many people, and compliance is a major problem.

The development of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) such as the Dexcom G5 has transformed the lives of many diabetics. A transmitter and sensor can be worn discretely under the patient’s clothing, sending continuous data to a smartphone app (iOS and Android) or even to a smartwatch. Dexcom has announced a collaboration with Fitbit to make the CGM data available on the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch. The goal is to give users the benefits of collecting both fitness and blood glucose information on a single wearable device. The Fitbit watch has a battery rated for four days or more use between charges, which adds to its convenience.

Support for the Dexcom G5 on the Ionic watch is expected to be ready by early 2018, and the two companies plan to develop additional products and services to help people manage their diabetes. This is an important next step in the development of the wearable Health Tech market, where accuracy and convenience become primary goals, while helping these devices “disappear” into our daily lives.