Fitbit Launches New Enterprise Health Platform to Drive Behavior Change

Fitbit Care uses health coaching and personalized digital health interventions. It also provides health systems, insurers and employers with enterprise-level data.

As the healthcare wearables market heats up, Fitbit is doubling down on its efforts to own the enterprise landscape with the launch of Fitbit Care, a platform that’s being marketed to health systems, insurers and employers.

The technology leverages health coaching and individualized digital health interventions to drive behavior change in users, theoretically spurring health improvements and cost savings at scale. In studies, Fitbit has found that the solution helped patients reach health targets earlier and maintain them longer than traditional clinic care or coaching alone. The company unveiled the platform today.

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“It’s a lot different than a lot of digital health platforms in the past that have tried to be more prescriptive,” Fitbit’s medical director, John Moore, M.D., Ph.D., said yesterday in a conference call with reporters. “We’re looking to help people co-create their action plans, giving them more agency in that process so we can meet them where they are.”

Fitbit Care is the child of both the company and Twine Health, the health coaching startup that Fitbit acquired earlier this year for an undisclosed sum. (As part of the deal, Moore, who co-founded Twine Health, came to work for Fitbit.)

The new enterprise platform blends the “best elements” of Twine and Fitbit’s “best-in-class” digital solutions, Adam Pellegrini, general manager and senior vice president of Fitbit Health Solutions, said during the conference call.

Humana, one of the country’s largest health insurers, has already signed a deal that enshrines Fitbit Care as a preferred coaching solution for employers. The move expands an existing relationship between the two companies.

Fitbit Care enables organizations to deploy population health management solutions at scale. The tech comes packed with features such as guided audio and video workouts, text-based health interventions from a coach, goal setting, monitoring and visualizations of how something like sleep affects blood glucose levels help.

Health systems, insurers and employers who use Fitbit Care may then aggregate the data, enabling them to see larger trends in their patient or employee populations.

The platform isn’t meant for one condition or disease; Moore said it contains “repeatable paradigms” that are “agnostic to a particular condition.” That means Fitbit Care can be used for everything from wellness and prevention to chronic disease management and even for the management of complex conditions such as congestive heart failure.

In a study of 200 patients with hypertension, researchers found that 89 percent reached their target blood pressure numbers by the end of the first year, compared to 56 percent who used only health coaching and 30 percent who received only traditional care. What’s more, goal attainment among the Fitbit Care cohort increased as time went on, while the other cohorts saw deceases.

Right now, enterprise-level solutions make up less than 10 percent of Fitbit’s revenues, Pellegrini said. But efforts like Fitbit Care — through which customers can use their own coaches or those provided by Fitbit — are becoming a more important priority for the company, in the face of mounting competition from tech heavyweights like Apple.

“We are already seeing proof points that the solutions we’re building are taking hold. They’re resonating with our customers,” Pellegrini said. “For us, it’s about building out that recurring revenue model and executing that long-term strategy.”

And such solutions could become increasingly important for healthcare organizations — both as a means to improve patient care and the health of their own employees, as detailed in recent studies.

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