Fitbit, Quest Team Up to Study Wearables' Effect on Metabolic Health

The pilot study will pair behavioral and biometric data from Fitbit devices.

Screen Shot 2024 01 18 At 10 49 14 Am

Fitbit and Quest Diagnostics, a provider of diagnostic information services, announced a collaboration to study the potential of wearable devices to improve metabolic health, which influences risk of developing several diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

The Wearables for Metabolic Health (WEAR-ME) pilot study will pair behavioral and biometric data from Fitbit devices with health insights from Quest Diagnostics' laboratory tests to explore ways data can be combined and analyzed to improve the assessment and management of metabolic health and help to inform the prevention of disease.

The study aims to evaluate the effect of wearables on users' behaviors as assessed based on objective laboratory test results. While data shows wearables can favorably influence users' modifiable behaviors, such as diet, exercise and sleep, research on health outcomes by objective measures is less established.

The IRB approved study will invite approximately 1,500 existing Fitbit users to join and consent to share three months of their Fitbit data. They will also be given the opportunity to receive laboratory testing at no cost using a panel of blood tests specifically designed to assess metabolic health, including blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. Study participants will sign up through the Google Health Studies App, where they will be prompted to schedule an appointment for a blood draw at a Quest patient service center. A third-party physician will order tests for participants. In addition, participants will have direct access to their lab test results through the Google app and through Quest's free mobile app, MyQuest.

Poor metabolic health is a major risk factor for chronic diseases and serious health conditions including heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Metabolic health is assessed using several benchmarks including blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides. In a recent study that explored the prevalence and risk factors of metabolic health, prevalence of metabolic syndrome among participants was 63 percent.1 Physical activity, a healthful diet and quality sleep can help reduce the risk of developing these conditions.

This study is an important step in our efforts to understand the potential of wearable devices to improve metabolic health and develop new strategies for managing chronic diseases. The WEAR-ME pilot study is expected to be completed in 2024.

More in Devices