Fitbit has teamed up with Google with the aim to make good use of the latter’s health data standards. This, Fitbit hopes, will help it evolve into a company providing for all-round health care rather than a maker of fitness tracking devices only.
As part of the deal, Fitbit will get to use the Google Healthcare API. This will ensure Fitbit’s health monitoring devices are compatible with the format used by doctors and healthcare centers. Also, the inherent benefit of the above arrangement is that the healthcare professionals will have direct access to the medical records of the patients right from the wearable they are wearing.
Google’s Cloud for Healthcare initiative happens to be a massive effort in creating a network of sorts that would comprise of healthcare professionals and medical centers at one end with users of smart wearable health tracking systems being the other. Also fitting into the scheme of things would be the companies that actually manufacture the wearable devices.
The Google effort is still in the initial stages but has already seen investments to the tune of trillions of dollars. The company along with others like Fitbit, however, believe all the investment could be worth it given health monitoring systems likely to emerge as a huge segment after smartphone to shape the electronic industry as a whole in the days to come.
Fitbit meanwhile also stated they would be using Google’s cloud storage facility as well. The added incentive here is that the Google cloud storage infrastructure is already compliant with federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPPA. 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.
Fitbit’s renewed push into the healthcare sector can also be attributed to a general consumer shift from mere fitness tracking devices to smartwatches that has a more balanced functionality ranging from health and fitness monitoring to even offering much of the same benefits that has shaped smartphones off late.
Also, with Apple making rapid inroads in the smartwatch segment that offers reliable heart monitoring systems among others, Fitbit has seen its fortunes being on a perennial nosedive of sorts. As a way out, it has no other option but to transition into an all-round health monitoring solutions provider rather than just fitness tracking devices. Google too has seen little success with its Android Wear efforts and has recently renamed it as simply the Wear OS.