Garmin Overview

Why should you consider using Garmin wearables in your research? How do they work with Labfront? This article provides a thorough overview of everything Garmin.

Table of Contents


  1. About Garmin
    1. Use Cases
    2. Published Studies
    3. Buying Devices
  2. Using Garmin devices with Labfront
    1. Researchers
    2. Participants
    3. Case Studies
  3. Garmin Data
    1. Data Types
    2. Data Format
  4. Additional Garmin Resources
  5. FAQs
















1.  About Garmin

Since the early 2000s, Garmin has been producing wrist wearables and has established itself as a trusted industry leader. Your research goals will be easier to achieve with products that support researchers across all disciplines, whether you need sleep staging, body composition, respiration rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, or granular interbeat interval data. 

1.1 Use Cases

Wearable Wristbands
Garmin smartwatches are great for continuous background real-world data capture as they are unobtrusive and can be worn 24/7.  
  • Dissect how sleep and sedentary habits affect mental health
  • Track the efficacy of a certain intervention with more context data
Blood Pressure Monitor
The Index™ Smart Blood Pressure Monitor can be used to understand how blood pressure responds to different interventions or environmental factors.
  • Study the effectiveness of a new medication for hypertension by tracking changes in blood pressure over several weeks or months.
  • Track the impact of environmental factors such as air pollution or noise exposure on blood pressure.
Smart Scale
With the Index™ S2’s ability to measure not only weight but also body composition, including body fat and muscle mass, the scale provides researchers with a wealth of information that was previously unavailable.
  • Examine the effectiveness of a weight loss program by tracking changes in not just weight but overall body composition over time.
  • Monitor the impact of a particular medication on muscle mass in patients with a chronic illness. 


Garmin's Third-Party Studies Database has many examples of how Garmin devices are being used in research. Check it out→


1.2 Published Studies

Garmin devices are being used in research to measure steps, heart rate, sleep, and more. Garmin's Health Research Database has a comprehensive collection of published third-party studies using Garmin devices. 

1.3 Buying Devices

While we don't currently provide the option to purchase Garmin devices from us directly, we do offer an exclusive discount on Garmin devices to Labfront customers. Get in touch with us at if you're interested in taking advantage of this offer. 



For the most affordable and compact device, we suggest using the Garmin vívosmart 4 or vívosmart 5.   If you’d like a bigger display, longer battery life, and more sensors, then we recommend using the Garmin Venu® Sq. 


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2.  Using Garmin Devices with Labfront

Labfront is compatible with a wide range of Garmin devices, including wrist-worn wearables, a smart scale, and a blood pressure monitor. You can see a full list of compatible devices in the table below:
What is special about Labfront is that because we have a partnership with Garmin, we have the ability to configure Garmin devices using the Garmin Health SDKs to increase the sensor resolution, allowing researchers to capture higher-resolution data than normally collected by Garmin.
This means that you can capture beat-to-beat or interbeat interval data and derive valuable metrics like heart rate variability.

2.1 Researchers

To capture physiological data from Garmin devices, simply add a Garmin device to your Labfront project and choose the data source you want to use to collect data. 


Add Devices (1)

Select Data- Both@2xcompressed-1

2.2 Participants

Participants will set up the device on the Labfront app in a few easy steps once they join the project.

Then they will wear the device and open the Labfront app regularly to sync and upload their data.



Learn more about the participant experience→

2.3 Case Studies

You can check out several studies using Garmin smartwatches and Labfront on our Case Studies page, including:

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3. Garmin Data

3.1  Data Types

Here is an overview of the types of data you can collect using Garmin devices. The data types and sampling rates will vary depending on which source is used for data collection--Garmin Connect, Labfront Companion, or both. 

 Data Source Comparison Chart (1)


Learn more about Garmin data sources and how they impact participant experience→

3.2 Data Format

Learn how Labfront conveniently separates and organizes data into CSV files in this Data Overview article.


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4. Garmin Resources

For additional information on Garmin Health and Garmin wearables, we recommended taking a look at the following resources: 


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5. FAQs


Is there a specific Garmin wearable device recommended to use with Labfront?

For the most affordable and compact device, we suggest using the Garmin vívosmart 4 or vívosmart 5.   If you’d like a bigger display, longer battery life, and more sensors, then we recommend using the Garmin Venu® Sq. 


How accurate are Garmin devices for measuring heart rate, Sp02, or other physiological data? 

Garmin devices have been used successfully for physiological data collection across many different types of research projects, including clinical trials. As with any wearable sensor, the quality of data collection depends on the amount of extra signal noise. Device fit, device usage, and motion intensity all affect the resulting accuracy. 

  • Visit this page for tips and advice about getting the best performance for heart rate accuracy.
  • For details about pulse ox and heart rate accuracy, please read this information
  • For further tips about getting the best performance out of your Garmin device, please visit Garmin Support.

What are some best practices to help optimize for accuracy from Garmin wearables?

Many factors may affect the accuracy of your wearable device for measuring physiological data, including the device fit and level of activity/motion. For this reason, we recommend the following tips: 

  1. Fit matters: Make sure all participants know how to correctly wear said wearable device.
  2. More samples, more insights: Collect extra samples and average them to get more accurate representations.
  3. Less movement, higher accuracy: Try to take measurements during low activity periods when possible, such as when one is sitting at a desk or sleeping.

Is Labfront compatible with non-Garmin devices?

Yes, Labfront is also compatible with Movesense devices for IMU/ECG data, the latest list of compatible devices is available on our website.  We do update this list from time to time, so if you are interested in a specific device that is not listed on the website, then please reach out to


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