Fitbit Ionic and Dexcom to Integrate (2018)

From the press release:

The first planned initiative is to bring Dexcom CGM data to Fitbit’s new smartwatch, Fitbit Ionic. Through this experience, Dexcom CGM users on either Android or iOS devices would be able to see both activity and glucose levels, right on their wrist.

Full article:

The Fitbit Ionic is a new model and only available for pre-orders, shipping in the next few weeks.


This is awesome! I’m likely going to get this when it comes out (even before I heard about Dexcom integration).


Same here, I think… 4 day battery life… Does it have an always-on screen?

Now Fitbit just needs to partner with Diasend to increase their support. Imagine if, rather than just listing daily step counts, Diasend could overlay actvity and maybe even HR data with pump/meter/CGM/food data. And imagine if it listed sleep quality next to each day… Would be interesting to see if sleep quality had an effect on the next day’s BG!

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Congrats to Fitbit and Dexcom for helping us to more easily incorporate their technology and live a healthy lifestyle. I use an Apple Watch and love having my BGs on wrist. On my other wrist I wear my Fitbit Flex, a relatively simple Fitbit.

A few years back, when I was actively using Diasend, I called them to ask why their reports only incorporated the Fitbit step total rather than overlaying that info across time in their reports. They said that Fitbit would only allow that for its partners and Diasend was not a partner.

As a person with diabetes, I find this attitude irritating. While the number of people with diabetes is growing, it pales in comparison to the market size of people who like to track their exercise.

I’m glad to see that Dexcom can afford this relationship with Fitbit but smaller companies like Diasend apparently cannot. Is it right that Fitbit hold us hostage in this way?

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I used a Fitbit One for a year or two but kept losing it, so I bought a Charge HR and it met all my needs really well. I used that for two and a half yaers, and actually loved the heart rate data. Often I could tell if I was getting sick just by an increase in my resting heart rate, and the automatic sleep and activity tracking was something I loved as well. I could just wear the device all day and not have to interact with it at all, but it would collect all this useful data. A few months ago I lost my Charge HR when going through airport security (took it off and forgot to put it back on, didn’t realize till I was on the plane). It was falling apart anyway, so I knew I’d get something new at some point, but I’ve been missing it for the past few months. I wanted a device that could track swimming in addition to all the other things I liked about my Charge HR and I also liked the new “reminder to move” feature that most devices had. I tried a Garmin Vivoactive, which had all of those features, but unfortunately the screen is too dim for me to see, so I gave it to my dad (who loves it and uses it every day). I tried an Apple Watch at one point but it was just too much for me. I really want to wear a device for its sensors and tracking, not to read tweets and e-mails. The Ionic seems like the perfect device for me, backlit screen and all the features I want.

I think we should all contact Fitbit and ask them to release more information to Diasend. Diasend does not make its money directly off customers like us, so I don’t think it listens too much to what we say. (I contacted them more than six months ago about the fact that their site uses CAPTCHAs to download data and is inaccessible to people using screen readers; they said they would fix it, but last I checked it’s exactly the same as it was.) So I would not blame Fitbit here, I would blame Diasend for not really being interested. I doubt they have ever really pushed the issue with Fitbit.

Fitbit does make its money directly off its device, at least in part, so the more people who buy their devices, the better they do. In the past, Fitbit has not really been a health company, so I can understand why they wouldn’t comprehend how much of an impact having full data availability could be. But now they’re putting themselves up against some tough competition with Apple Watch and all the Android smart watches, and they’re really pushing for the Ionic (and maybe future devices) to be an all-around health device rather than just about fitness. In addition to diabetes, they claim that the Ionic will eventually have features to help monitor sleep apnea (something that intrigues me because I have mild sleep apnea). So they have moved beyond marketing solely to people who are already healthy into marketing to those who live with chronic illnesses. Since they’ve now officially partnered with a diabetes company, I think it would be to their benefit to allow their data to be more integrated into other platforms.

But maybe Diasend is old. I feel like the diabetes technology I use tends to be a generation older than what others are using. What does the t:slim use, since that’s the next pump I will get (apparently they will seek Health Canada approval in 2018). I just keep thinking how nice it would be to be able to look at a graph or a table and see exactly how everything impacts BG. Having no exercise data in Diasend has always been its major drawback to me.

So… what’s the selling point for this over an Apple Watch? They’re roughly in the same price-range (medium-expensive watch prices), and I’m wondering what features this would have that an Apple Watch wouldn’t?

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At the time I was using Diasend, I was impressed with the amount of data it included. It pulled in all my CGM data from my Dexcom, downloaded my Animas pump and was able to post insulin boluses, basal rates, insulin total daily dose, and if I used pump carb boluses, it was able to display carb amounts and timing. It also retrieved data from my fingerstick meter and incorporated into their reports. The only major factor missing was the exercise timing and duration.

I really underutilize the Apple Watch capability. Seeing my BG when I lift my wrist is enough for me. I use my laptop for emails and forum interaction. I don’t often even use my smartphone to interact on internet. I’ll do it when my laptop is unavailable like when I’m traveling.

Yep, it is good collecting everything else. It will also collect insulin or carbs entered into the Dexcom receiver or meter (if you treat a low without bolusing, for example). But exercise has never been included, even when entered into a meter or receiver. I tracked my food in the Fitbit app on my phone for a while. It would be great if that information could be included. Basically, if the information from the tracker, pump, CGM, meter(s), and app were all combined in to one, it would be ideal!

I am still using Diasend because I’m still using a Ping. But when I get a new pump, I will be looking at alternatives to see if there’s anything more comprehensive out there (there may not be).

I have a basic philosophical disagreement towards any private enterprise that locks my data into their silo. These companies act like my data is their data. I know they have the right to make a profit off of their devices and software systems but they need to understand that without my data, their product is just the latest shiny new bit of technology headed for the technology scrap-bin.

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Is there any company that doesn’t do this?

This is a good question. Perhaps the medical data collected by doctors, at least in the US, is an example. Medical data privacy is protected by a law known as HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

You’re right, though. Private enterprise not only collects our data but then also derives economic value as it sells it to other entities. But I fear we’re straying too far from the original intent of this thread.

Battery life, for one. Apple still thinks a day is 16 hours long… If it has an always-on screen, I’d call that an advantage, too. And , yeah, simpler is better for me and probably others… I have an AW watch that I’ve been using (though it’s been annoying me a lot lately) – I thought I’d use more of its features, but I find that I rarely- if-ever - do…

Fitbit has said they’ll be releasing developer information for the FitbitOS on the Ionic- - I’m hoping that’ll open it up to NightScout and xDrip in some form or another (Or… do I have to learn how to write those apps myself!? :slight_smile:)

I think the Ionic is designed for people exactly like me. I have no interest in sending tweets, reading e-mails, or making calls from my wrist. I want a fitness tracker that I can just wear all day that will automatically record my steps, calories, sleep, heart rate, and various activities (including swimming), as well as let me log things like food and weight so I can see an overall picture of my health and goal progress. Yet, I’m not an athlete, so buying a fancy Garmin product does not make sense. The Apple Watch I tried for a day and returned because it couldn’t track sleep nor really track steps, heart rate, and calories in the kind of detail that Fitbit does. I think the Ionic won’t appeal to people who want a smartwatch to use as a smartwatch, but it will appeal to people like me who want a fitness tracker but also envy people with smartwatches who can see their BG on their wrist. :slight_smile:

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I’m not sure. I would guess not since it has a four-day battery life despite the bright, backlit screen, but that’s a pure guess. I would guess that they’ll use the same technique of other Fitbits where the screen turns on when you turn your wrist to look at it, and is off at other times.

That would be very disappointing!! I want my Pebble Time 2 that never went into production, with its 10-day always-on screen (and other good features)!! :frowning::cry:

I don’t think they could have an always-on screen with the backlight and maintain a long battery life. But that’s just a guess, maybe it’ll be an option. :slight_smile: For me, I’m just happy that this is the first device I’ll actually be able to see. I found the lack of (or very dim) backlights on the Garmin and Pebble made them unusable for me.

I can imagine people wanting to bike with an always-on screen, but in that sitaution I would think it would be pretty easy just to use your phone. Are there other situations where it would be useful? I found the wrist motion sensor worked well for me on my Charge HR. The screen popped on every time I needed to look at it, and turned off whenever it wasn’t in use.

This is slightly off topic, but there are obviously enough people here that actively use fitness trackers.

How valuable do you find these to managing your health? I’ve contemplated getting one in the past, but then I wondered what I would do with the data, and I’m certainly of the belief that too much data can in some cases lead to actually negatively impacting your health if you’re not actively using it in some positive way.

I do exercise probably about 5-6 times a week, with a mix of running and weight training and rock climbing. So I would be interested to see that data, but then how I’d use it is another question. Though the prospect of being able to link my G5 into that watch is certainly appealing!

My question is are we going to have to pay for a data package and get a newer phone to do it? I hope not.

I have a fit bit I never use anymore. I hate wearing a watch now and the info although interesting wasn’t vital for me or even useful to my life. If I can get my Bg info on my wrist the same way the Dex receiver does it it will be very useful and worth wearing a watch for. So the Fitbit was a waste of money. I don’t even know where it is now. In a drawer somewhere. If I get this new device I will sell the old one when I find it.