Health system taps Fitbit for adolescent diabetes research

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is using Fitbit devices for a research effort regarding sleep behavior and activity among children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

The wearable is being used by 114 pre-teens and adolescents, ranging in age from 8 to 17, who have been managing the chronic condition for at least 12 months and use an insulin pump, according to an article in mHealth Intelligence.

"We need to capitalize on new technology that allows us to look at their data more frequently than every three months," Laura Gandrud, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist, said in the article. "There's a lot going on that we don't know about."

The devices will help researchers learn how various activities impact the young patients' A1c levels, which could lead to improved personalized care and clinical results, Gandrud said. The patient data collected is uploaded online to allow physicians to review it, along with pump activity.

In 2015, Fitbit reveals that it plans to expand consumer data collection on its devices using sensors and employing new metrics for tracking blood pressure and stress. Smartphones and other mobile devices also are spurring increased attention to personal healthcare and potential health issues among teens and millennials, FierceMobileHealthcare previously reported.

For more information: 
- read the mHealth Intelligence article