Google-owned fitness tracking company Fitbit and US-based Quest Diagnostics have entered into a partnership to advance the research on the use of wearable devices to improve metabolic health.

The collaboration is intended to assess the combination of the two companies’ products in improving metabolic health, which is linked to several diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

The pilot study, dubbed Wearables for Metabolic Health (WEAR-ME), will combine behavioural and biometric data from Fitbit devices with health insights from Quest Diagnostics’ laboratory tests.

According to Quest Diagnostics, the trial will explore ways data can be combined and analysed to enhance the assessment and management of metabolic health and help to inform in preventing disease.

Quest Diagnostics and Fitbit’s joint pilot study aims to determine how wearables affect users’ actions as determined by objective test findings from laboratories.

The American diagnostic information services provider said that wearables can positively impact users’ changeable behaviours, like exercise, food, and sleep.

Quest Diagnostics consumer-initiated testing vice president and general manager Richard Adams said: “This study aligns with our goal at Quest to empower people to take control of their health, with convenient access to more than 75 lab tests with physician oversight, but without the doctor visit.

“By teaming up, Quest and Fitbit will harness laboratory testing to better understand the type of information that motivates people to make healthy choices that ultimately improve their health.”

The IRB-approved WEAR-ME study, which is expected to be completed this year, will recruit about 1,500 current Fitbit users. They will be asked to share three months of their Fitbit data.

Additionally, they will be offered the chance to undergo free laboratory testing using a panel of blood tests used to evaluate metabolic health, such as triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

The participants in the study will register using the Google Health Studies App, where they will be asked to book a blood draw appointment at a Quest Diagnostics patient care facility. Participants’ tests will be ordered by a third-party physician.

Furthermore, participants will be able to directly access their lab test results via Quest Diagnostics’ free MyQuest mobile app and the Google app.