Fitbit and Google announce cloud collaboration to boost digital health and wellbeing

Bobby Hellard

1 May, 2018

Fitbit has announced plans to use Google’s Cloud Healthcare API to better connect user data with medical records, in a bid to provide enhanced levels of personalised patient care whilst at the same time broadening its own reach in the digital health and wearables space. 

The wearable fitness tracker manufacturer hopes to connect its devices to the electronic medical records (EMR) systems used by doctors and hospitals, with the aim of enabling healthcare practitioners to get health data straight from the patients’ device. 

“Over the past decade, we have built an incredible foundation as the leading wearables brand, helping millions of people around the world make lasting behavior changes that improve their health and wellness through fun and engaging experiences,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.

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

In addition, the two companies hope the collaboration will enable better management – by a patient and medical professionals working together using the information available –  of chronic healthcare issues such as diabetes and hypertension by making use of the cloud-based healthcare API and Fitbit’s Twine Health. 

Google’s cloud data storage platform is largely certified as complying with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), which regulates the use of medical records, which frees Fitbit from having to build its own system that complies with the law.

“At Google, our vision is to transform the way health information is organized and made useful,” added Gregory Moore MD, PhD, vice president, Healthcare, Google Cloud.

“By enabling Fitbit to connect and manage key health and fitness data using our Google Cloud Healthcare API, we are getting one step closer to this goal. 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.”

Following news of the deal, Fitbit’s shares rose five percent to close at $5,55 on Monday.