Tracking your steps and sleep is useful so you can spot trends over time, but that information is more useful when it isn’t siloed in an app. That’s why Fitbit is partnering with Google to link your activity data to your electronic medical records, a move that could help your doctors give you more personalized care.
Fitbit will use Google’s Cloud Healthcare API, which can read a variety of healthcare data types and analyze that data using machine learning in the cloud, to store the data collected by its fitness trackers and smartwatches, including the new Fitbit Versa. Google already has healthcare customers using its Cloud Healthcare API, and Fitbit plans to integrate its own data into that system so users can eventually connect the info from their Fitbit app with their patient records for a more detailed overview of their health.
Fitbit has already been working to make the information collected from its wearables more useful for people. In February, the company acquired Twine Health, a startup that uses Fitbit’s data to help people manage chronic medical issues such as diabetes and hypertension. Google and Fitbit will use the Cloud Healthcare API and Twine Health’s health coaching platform to help patients and physicians work together to better manage their chronic conditions.
“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.
The move also makes Fitbit more competitive with Apple, which is already working with healthcare systems to put medical records in the iPhone’s Health app. The hospitals and physician networks integrated with the Health app are limited to start, but eventually your health data could wind up in either Google’s cloud or Apple’s.