Fitbit today came out with some additional news that might give Wall Street some signs of life as it looks to compete with an increasingly complicated fitness tracking environment — and the stock is surging this afternoon as a result.
Fitbit's shares are up more than 11 percent after it announced a partnership with Dexcom, which would introduce glucose monitoring on the Ionic Smartwatch. This somewhat nudges Fitbit beyond just fitness tracking into something that's more in the vein of health tracking in general. Starting in 2018, the Fitbit Ionic will show users data from a Dexcom G5 mobile sensor. It's a collaboration that's aimed at developing and marketing products to better manage diabetes.
Fitbit is well known for its fitness trackers, but increasingly there's been a proliferation of trackers that focus on all areas of health. The Apple Watch is trying to move further into something that's broader than simply fitness, and there are startups like Proof looking to pick away little niches like tracking blood alcohol content. The sum of all these little niches may end up as a comprehensive health tracking device, though cramming them all into one piece of hardware may prove more challenging than initially expected.
It's a nice jump and a reprieve from a pretty ho-hum month for Fitbit, which has seen a slight bump in its performance.
Still, any sign of life that alters the calculus of the kind of business Fitbit can build means there's likely going to be a big stock price swing like we're seeing today. Fitbit has barely sustained "unicorn" status, but it's nowhere near where it was when it went public, and has had to fight to convince Wall Street that it's a real, healthy company.