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Choose Your Data Source and Metrics

How can you choose which data to collect? What's the difference between Garmin Connect and Labfront Companion data? We'll explain how to set up your data source and data in your app.

You've started building your app and finished entering the project details. At this point, you're ready to select which type of data you would like to collect, and from which source. 
We'll cover:

Types of Physiological Data

For a breakdown/definition of all the physiological data you can collect with Garmin devices, visit the list of metrics and detailed explanation here

Data Source Options : Garmin Connect and Labfront Companion

If you're collecting physiological data from Garmin devices, there are two data sources you can choose: the Garmin Connect app (post-processed Garmin data) and the Labfront Companion app (more granular data directly from the devices).

Source 1: Garmin Connect app

The Garmin Connect app captures the standard default data that can be collected by individual consumers using Garmin wearables (e.g. sleep, stress, HR at every minute, steps at every minute, etc.).  

Source 2: Labfront Companion app

Labfront's partnership with Garmin allows Labfront Companion to pull data directly from the watches themselves for additional metrics and more granular data such as beat-to-beat interval (collected at every heartbeat). This is why the data upload/sync time for Labfront Companion is much longer than that of the Garmin Connect app. 

Comparing Data Types and Sampling Rates from Each Source

 Data Source Comparison Chart (1)
Important Considerations
  • If you're looking to collect HRV, your participants will need to use the Labfront Companion App.
  • With the Labfront Companion App, you have the option to customize the sampling rate. However, certain metrics, such as Sp02 and BBI can impact both device battery life and sync time. We therefore only recommend selecting this type of data if it is required for your project.
  • Without Garmin Connect, you will not be able to able to collect sleep data, as that is a post-processed metric derived by the Garmin Health team. Learn more about Garmin sleep data → 

Add a Device and Set Up Your Data Source

Once you have an understanding of the difference between Garmin Connect and Labfront Companion data, you can select your device and data source in the app.

Add Device

Choose the research device you'll use for collecting the physiological data. Click Add Device(s).
 add device screenshot

Note: Currently only Garmin Devices can be added. We're hoping to add more devices soon! View compatible devices


Set Up Your Data Source and Data Metrics

When building your project, you have the option of collecting data from either or both of the two sources mentioned above - the Garmin Connect app and the Labfront Companion app. This gives you 3 options for physiological data collection. Your setup will vary depending on which data source you're collecting data from: 

Option 1: Garmin Connect Data Only

Reminder: With this option, you will not be able to collect HRV or adjust the sampling rate of your metrics.

  1. Toggle Garmin Connect App ON and Labfront Companion App OFF.
  2. Click Save.

Select Data - Garmin@2xcompressed

👥 View the participant onboarding guide


Option 2: Labfront Companion Only

Reminder: For this option, you will not be able to collect daily summary, activity summary, or sleep data.

  1. Toggle Garmin Connect App OFF and Labfront Companion App ON.
  2. You'll have the option of adjusting the sampling rate of certain metrics. However, some will have an impact on battery life.
  3. Click Save.


Option 3: Garmin Connect and Labfront Companion

Reminder: With this option, participants must open both apps regularly to sync data.

  1. Toggle both Garmin Connect App and Labfront Companion App ON.
  2. You have the option of adjusting the sampling rate of certain metrics. However, some will have an impact on battery life.
  3. Click Save.
Select Garmin Connect and Labfront Data




Can I change my data source after I've already started my project?

Yes! With Labfront's Live Edit feature, you can edit your data source and metrics even after you've already started collecting data. Learn more about editing your project in this article.

We strongly recommend notifying participants of changes as they may need to sync their device again. 


How will the participant experience be impacted by each data source? 

Our researcher guide on the participant experience gives you a better idea of how each data source affects the participant experience. 


Why add Garmin Connect to my study?

Although an additional app for participants to sync and download, the Garmin Connect app offers valuable data that cannot be collected through the Labfront Companion app alone, such as sleep data, and high-level summary data.

Additionally, it offers participants immediate feedback in the form of an in-app data visualizer experience (e.g. total steps, sleep duration and quality, stress score, etc.)  which could positively impact adherence.