Fitbit Gets a Much-Needed Boost

Written By David Roberts

Posted May 2, 2018

Fitbit (NYSE: FIT) has been having a tough year so far.

The company’s February earnings release revealed that it is losing money and is expecting revenue to continue declining in the upcoming year.

But a new partnership just might change that…

On Monday, the wearables company announced a health-care collaboration with Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google. Afterward, Fitbit’s stock soared by almost 10%.

Fitbit is serious about making it easier for doctors and medical professionals to access important health data. It plans to use Google’s Cloud Healthcare API to help it further integrate into the health-care system.

Google created the Cloud Healthcare API to provide a scalable infrastructure that makes it easier to manage different types of health-care data from multiple sources.

The API could allow doctors and any other health-care providers access to a complete profile of a patient’s. And they would do this by connecting Fitbit data with existing electronic medical records.

The eventual aim is to allow doctors to get health data straight from the Fitbits on their patients’ wrists.

Fitbit’s move to Google’s Cloud Platform will help in facilitating Fitbit’s health-care plans. Many Google Cloud products are already Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-certified. And Google already knows how to meet the security and privacy needs of the health-care industry.

Instead of starting from scratch to build its own platform in compliance with industry standards, Fitbit can just use Google’s. The regulatory work on Google’s platform has already been done.

James Park, the cofounder and CEO of Fitbit, says:

Working with Google gives us an opportunity to transform how we scale our businesses, allowing us to reach more people around the world faster, while also enhancing the experience we offer to users and the healthcare system.

This collaboration will accelerate the pace of innovation to define the next generation of healthcare and wearables.

Fitbit has been open about its health-care industry ambitions.

The company has always been focused on fitness and general health. But it’s recently begun focusing more on in-depth health data analysis and how to better integrate with the entire health-care industry.

The company has also recently acquired Twine Health. Twin Health is a HIPAA-certified platform that provides personalized health coaching to help users in better managing chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension.

And in recent years, Fitbit has been trying to give consumers more health insights through advanced sensors and new software features.

The Ionic Fitbit has an SpO2 sensor that can help in identifying sleep apnea. Although, we haven’t seen many apps taking advantage of this sensor yet.

Fitbit also announced the forthcoming female health-tracking feature of its mobile app. The feature will allow women to track their menstrual cycles and systems. And that will make the information easily accessible to them and their doctors.

Amid all this, Fitbit has been allowing its users to export activity, sleep, food, and other data as XLS or CSV files. This is so they may reference it without the mobile app and give it to their physicians. But using Google’s Cloud Platform will make for an easier transfer of this data.

This move into cloud services should help Fitbit in keeping pace with competitors. This includes the Apple Watch and its CareKit and ResearchKit platforms. These are designed to help people in managing medical conditions.

Fitbit and Google have struggled in the wearables market lately.

Fitbit was the market leader a few years ago when fitness trackers were all the rage. But it’s slipped as consumers have been looking to smart watches that have the same capabilities and more.

Both companies are looking for a boost in wearables. And the announcement of the partnership also hinted at possible product cooperation in the future.

“Finally, Fitbit and Google are collaborating to bring together the strengths of both companies to innovate and transform the future of wearables,” the companies said in a joint statement, without mentioning any specifics.

Fitbit and Google are hoping to bring better health to more people around the world.

That’s all for now.

Until next time,

John Peterson
Pro Trader Today