Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Fitbit joins Google Cloud Healthcare API to share health data with doctors

55-fitbit-versa Fitbit Versa Sarah Tew CNET
Guillermo Lane | 01 May, 2018, 05:00

The collaboration will see Fitbit utilize Google's new Cloud Healthcare API as it aims to integrate further into the healthcare system. This should save Fitbit and presumably other wearable manufacturers a lot of time and effort when it comes to enabling their devices to communicate with medical professionals.

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

"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", Fitbit CEO James Park said in a statement announcing the partnership. That's why Fitbit and Google want to bring healthcare providers into the loop. This will be possible due to Google's engineering support, AI, machine learning, as well as new predictive analytic algorithms.

Fitbit has already been working to make the information collected from its wearables more useful for people.

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With both companies looking for a boost in wearables, the announcement of the new partnership also hinted at possible deeper product cooperation in the future.

In addition to partnering with Google, Fitbit also hopes to use Google's Cloud Healthcare API with Twine Health, a healthcare coaching app that the company acquired earlier this year, to help manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension.

Down on Wall St, Fitbit (NYSE: FIT) stocks soared nearly 10 percent after the company announced the Alphabet (NYSE: GOOG) collaboration. Fitbit is a step towards the consumer side of this, giving the Healthcare API plenty of data to work with. The Cloud Healthcare APIs are created to be easy to use and integrate, and Google officials say the system is fully compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (aka HIPPA).

"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.", said Gregory Moore MD, PhD, Vice President, Healthcare, Google Cloud. All are designed as HIPAA-compliant platforms.

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