Fitbit Strikes Deal With Google That Could Lead to Wearables Collaboration

Fitbit Strikes Deal With Google That Could Lead to Wearables Collaboration

Fitbit has recently announced its collaboration with Google to link the data gathered by the company's wearable to the medical records.

Fitbit's collaboration with Google Cloud follows other healthcare partners since its launch at HIMSS in March including M*Modal, Lahey Health, Cleveland Clinic, and Rush University Medical Center. The deal will see Fitbit use Google's Cloud Healthcare API to funnel the everyday movement and workout data gathered by its wearables into owners' patient profiles. In terms of partnerships, this one makes sense - if you ignore the concerning data sharing practices. And if some future Fitbit health applications fall under the umbrella of what the FDA deems SaMD products, Teppler worries about potential patient safety concerns.

While Fitbit and Google may connect to EMRs, "they likely are doing so on behalf of the consumer, rather than on behalf of the healthcare provider as a covered entity", he says. This would make it easier for physicians to learn more about a patient and provide more personalized treatment by using the data collected by the patient's Fitbit device.

Google's fledgling Cloud Healthcare service will provide Fitbit users with an online repository to store their data and includes integration with electronic medical record systems.

Fitbit's move to Google's Cloud Platform will help facilitate Fitbit's healthcare plans. Also fitting into the scheme of things would be the companies that actually manufacture the wearable devices.

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Fitness trackers monitor and collect reams of data, but that data not always used effectively.

At the time of publishing, we haven't heard back from Fitbit.

Within Google's cloud, caregivers could access data from patients who might suffer from chronic conditions.

Adam Pellegrini, GM of Fitbit Health Solutions, told MobiHealthNews that the revamp of Fitbit's infrastructure not only allows the company to more securely manage and transfer users' health data across entities but it will drive more informed and coordinated clinical decision making.

Google's artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities and new predictive analytic algorithms will further Fitbit's efforts to bring more meaningful data and insights to consumers to help them achieve positive health outcomes, according to the companies' statement.

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