Fitbit announces new partnerships, focus on chronic disease management, overall health

By Laura Lovett
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Fitbit has announced a slew of new digital health apps and clock faces that were born out of partnerships with major players such as Dexcom, Humana, and Walgreens. The apps, which were built on Fitbit’s software development kit, are aimed at helping people manage chronic conditions and improving overall health. 

“Smartwatches provide a powerful platform to deliver important health tools that help our users manage conditions more conveniently than ever before. With these apps and clock faces, we continue to deliver on our promise to bring important health information to the wrist,” James Park, cofounder and CEO of Fitbit, said in a statement. “With our strong consumer engagement, cross-platform compatibility, and intuitive software and services we have become a wearable partner of choice for leaders across the healthcare industry. Together, we aim to inspire positive behavior change that can ultimately improve health outcomes and reduce costs.” 

The new partnerships are also expected to give health plans, employers, and clinical researchers new opportunities to interact and support users. 

It has been an eventful spring for Fitibt. Today it activatd the female health tracking feature, which helps women track their menstrual cycles. 

Last week during Fitbit’s Q1 earnings call, Park affirmed the company’s commitment to digital health, citing its partnership with Google and acquisition of health coaching company Twine as examples of its focus on health. Recently, Fitbit announced a partnership with Google to work on refining EHRs to give clinicians a more comprehensive look into patient data and to speed up innovation in the digital health space. 

The newly announced partnerships, and their resulting apps and clock faces, are as follows:

Diplomat Pharmacy, a company that makes digital health platforms for oncology patients, is teaming up with Fitbit to integrate its care management platform into the Fitbit Ionic and Versa. The technology will help cancer patients manage their medications and prescriptions with reminders. 

For Fitbit users concerned about picking up the flu there's Sickweather, a predictive sickness forecast tool designed to alert users of contagious illness risk for certain locations. It also lets users see the top illnesses in their area. 

Fitbit is working with Fitabase, which collects data for researchers. The new tool will implement custom feedback and prompts that make it easy for researchers to collect data on the wrist using novel assessment and interaction methods. 

Humana is integrating its wellness and rewards program Go365 with the Fitbit Ionic and Versa. Users will be able to track their activities and earn credit towards rewards like fitness gear, e-gift cards, and charitable donations. 

Employee engagement company Limeade will be integrating its app and clock face on Fitbit smartwatches. The product will include short surveys and daily tips to improving health and well-being. 

Three of the partnerships were announced in late 2017. 

The wearable giant will be partnering with diabetes management company Dexcom to develop a new app for Fitbit Ionic and Versa that will help relay blood glucose data from the Dexcom CGM to the wrist, allowing users to see the numbers alongside Fitbit activity data. The partenership was originally announced in September but the app will launch later this year. 

As announced in October, virtual diabetes platform One Drop will be integrating its glucose monitoring platform onto Fitbit’s smartwatches. Users will be able to synch Fitbit intraday data to their One Drop accounts as well. 

Users won’t need to plug Walgreens' in their GPS to find the closest one. A new app will let Fitbit Ionic and Versa users locate the closest Walgreens pharmacy, view their Balance Rewards points and save money on Walgreens purchases. Walgreens' app was announced in Fitbit's first wave of apps in December.