Google, Fitbit partner to accelerate innovation in digital health, wearables

Fitbit and Google on Monday announced that they are collaborating "to innovate and transform the future of digital health and wearables," and that they are looking to explore the development of both consumer and enterprise health solutions. Under the deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, Fitbit will "leverage Google Cloud to increase operational efficiency, agility and speed to market," the companies said.

Fitbit CEO James Park noted that "working with Google gives us an opportunity to transform how we scale our business, allowing us to reach more people around the world faster," adding that the deal will help "define the next generation of healthcare and wearables." Meanwhile, Gregory Moore, vice president of healthcare at Google Cloud, remarked that "together, we have the opportunity to deliver up-to-date information to providers, enhancing their ability to follow and manage the health of their patients and guide their treatment."

The companies said Google's new Cloud Healthcare API will be used to help Fitbit integrate further into the healthcare system, such as by connecting user data with electronic medical records, which can "provide a more comprehensive view of the patient profile, leading to more personalised care." Additionally, Fitbit and Google indicated plans to help better manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, by using services like Twine Health, the health-coaching platform recently acquired by Fitbit. "Using Google's Cloud Healthcare API, Twine can make it easier for clinicians and patients to collaborate on care," the companies noted.

Fitbit said it will move to the Google Cloud Platform, which provides next-generation cloud services and engineering support, "allowing [us] to scale faster." The company also noted that the move will permit it "to leverage Google Cloud's infrastructure and advanced security capabilities to help accelerate the Fitbit health solutions business and expand deeper into population health analysis, while maintaining Fitbit's commitment to protecting consumer data."

The companies added that Google's artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities will advance Fitbit's efforts "to bring more meaningful data and insights" to consumers. Adam Pellegrini, who leads Fitbit's health solutions business, suggested these capabilities can potentially be used "to give someone's care team better insights and better predictive, proactive recommendations."

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