Fitbit wants Google’s help to turn its fitness trackers into health monitors. The wearables maker will use Google’s cloud solutions to tie directly to users’ electronic medical records.
The real goal, of course, is to help Fitbit be more competitive with arch-rival Apple Watch.
That’s been a struggle lately. Apple had the top-selling wearable globally during the holiday season last year.
Medical monitor you take everywhere
Fitbit believes that by sending data from its smart watches directly to electronic medical records, doctors will gain a more comprehensive view of the patient’s status, leading to more personalized care. Fitbit and Google also want to help manage chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension.
Their collaboration begins with Fitbit switching to the Google Cloud Platform and its new Cloud Healthcare API.
“At Google, our vision is to transform the way health information is organized and made useful,” said Gregory Moore MD, PhD, Vice President, Healthcare, Google Cloud. “By enabling Fitbit to connect and manage key health and fitness data using our Google Cloud Healthcare API, we are getting one step closer to this goal. Together, we have the opportunity to deliver up-to-date information to providers, enhancing their ability to follow and manage the health of their patients and guide their treatment.”
Not a Fitbit running Wear OS
What Google gets out of this collaboration is access to a popular smart watch line. Its Android Wear operating system for wearables never took off, even after it was renamed Wear OS.
That said, Fitbit and Google have said nothing about Fitbit making devices running Wear OS. Fitbit uses an in-house operating system for smart watches like the new Fitbit Versa.
However, the announcement finished by saying “Fitbit and Google are collaborating to bring together the strengths of both companies to innovate and transform the future of wearables. Working together provides an exciting opportunity to leverage Fitbit’s leading wearables brand, community, data, and popular devices alongside Google’s expertise in building platforms, software and services.”
The comment could be a hint that Fitbit is at least considering a switch to Wear OS.