Google has announced that it will partner with Fitbit to increase its focus in the healthcare sector. In a blogpost, the company has said the Fitbit partnership will also expand to digital health, in a bid to ‘drive positive health outcomes to scale’. Under the partnership, Google and Fitbit aim to build healthcare-specific products and services that can help create a detailed medical information database, and assist health services.
Fitbit will use Google Cloud’s services, including the Google Cloud Healthcare API, that looks to improve clinical services for patients, and improve diagnostics through machine learning. The collaboration also means Fitbit will bypass the need to create its own API to track its health-oriented apps and monitors, as Cloud Healthcare API is already complaint to the US’ Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).
“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,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.
Fitbit has been trying to regain its popularity amongst fitness enthusiasts, having lost ground to Apple, Samsung and other wearable technology makers. In February, it acquired Twine, a healthcare data service that connected patients suffering from chronic diseases with doctors and coaches. This comes soon after they announced Versa, a wristband that was launched recently, and has received popular reviews.
Google has also struggled in the wearable segment. It recently rebranded its Android Wear OS to Wear OS in a bid to attract more iPhone users. Currently, Apple is the top player in the wearables segment. The Cupertino company sold 8 million units of Apple Watch in the last quarter of 2017, according to IDC.