Fitbit shares sprint higher on new Google alliance

Fitbit will use Google Cloud to make its data available to doctors		
		
	Brian Heater

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"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 health-care system", he said. The company today said it is collaborating with Google to push health data generated by its fitness trackers to the cloud where medical professionals can put it to work. By using the Google Healthcare API, Fitbit hopes to accelerate interoperability with existing and future healthcare partners and provide data exchange that can scale to meet large enterprise partner needs.

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. It will also provide better tracking through FIT's other services, such as Twine Health.

The two are also looking to help customers better manage chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes through Twine Health, the health coaching platform Fitbit acquired earlier this year.

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Pellegrini did, however, hint at the impact Google's AI and machine learning expertise could have on data collected through these devices and uploaded to a patient's EHR. The company already holds pole position in the wearables segment worldwide when it comes to hardware; now, it will be transitioning its software to the Google Cloud Platform.

Apple is using its Watch as a platform for digital health services, including clinical research projects, while it is also testing a feature to allow iPhone owners in the U.S. to download electronic medical records from their hospitals.

Part of Google's vision, according to Moore, "is to transform the way health information is organized and made useful", which he believes will be achieved by this collaboration.

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Fitbit will use Google's Cloud services and engineering support to advance its own products. "The two companies will also be exploring how Google Cloud's machine learning APIs can help them uncover deeper insights to benefit their users".

Fitbit is teaming up with a big tech company to step into the health care world. Among them is the platform's support for HIPAA compliance.

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