Google is Now Collaborating With Fitbit, Aim to Revolutionize Digital Healthcare

Google is Now Collaborating With Fitbit, Aim to Revolutionize Digital Healthcare

Adam Pellegrini, the manager of Fitbit's Health Solutions team, told Fast Company that the integration with Google's cloud could notify a user when to take medicine or exercise.

"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", James Park, cofounder and CEO of Fitbit Inc, said in a statement. Fitbit will use the API to ensure that its data is safely transferred to Google's cloud.

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

Another wrinkle to this collaboration is that Google and Fitbit will collaborate on both consumer and enterprise products. The aim eventually is to allow doctors to get health data straight from Fitbits on their patients' wrists.

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The application programming interface in Google's cloud platform will support Fitbit in connecting its user data to physician electronic health records through the Fitbit platform, leading to more personalized care and patient engagement.

As part of the deal, Fitbit as a whole will be moving its efforts onto the Google Cloud Platform.

As of October 2017, more than 6.8 million Fitbit users connected their data to various health programs through employers, insurers or health systems. Fitbit and Google also plan to examine how they can use the data to help people manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. This will save Fitbit from having to reinvent the wheels all over again as they are getting to make good use of existing facility without having to set up one of their own. The attackers also reportedly had access to customer data, including Global Positioning System history, which shows where a person regularly runs or cycles, as well as data showing what time a person usually goes to sleep (see Fitbit Hack: What are the Lessons?). "If the flow of information is bi-directional, with EMR data going to Fitbit or Google, then they should ensure that they have fully complied with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, such as documenting that the patient has requested the disclosure or that it is for treatment purposes". This will enable it to create better and more useful data that can be put towards improving health outcomes.

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