Fitbit, Google to support wearables in care coordination

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Fitbit, a major vendor of fitness software to help individuals track their activity and exercise levels, has teamed up with Google to accelerate innovation in the healthcare wearables market to better manage chronic care and improve collaboration among patients’ healthcare providers.

Company executives say they are exploring opportunities to develop digital consumer and enterprisewide healthcare solutions. However, beyond the initial announcement of the partnership, the companies are not providing any additional details.

The core idea is to give patients and providers a better view of a patient’s health, which can lead to a personalized care plan, according to the companies.

Fitbit recently bought Twine Health, a vendor of software to help patients and providers collaborate on care options with the goal of generating improved health outcomes for patients, which also will benefit employers, insurers and hospitals.

“Working with Google gives us an opportunity to transform how we scale our business, allowing us to reach more people faster while also enhancing the experience we offer to our users and the healthcare system,” says James Park, co-founder and CEO at Fitbit. “This collaboration will accelerate the pace of innovation to define the next generation of healthcare and wearables.”

The application programming interface in Google’s cloud platform will support Fitbit in connecting its user data to physician electronic health records through the Fitbit platform, leading to more personalized care and patient engagement.

Further, Google brings its artificial intelligence software, machine learning capabilities and new predictive analytic algorithms to the table.

The final piece in the early stages of the Google-Fitbit collaboration is the use of Twine to deliver online health coaching and lifestyle interventions to help companies’ employees improve their health by managing hypertension, diabetes and weight, as well as quitting smoking.

“Our vision is to transform the way health information is organized and made useful,” says Gregory Moore, MD, vice president of healthcare at Google Cloud. “By enabling Fitbit to connect and manage key health and fitness data using our Google Health Cloud API, we are getting one step closer to this goal.”

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