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Fitbit, Google join to push patient-generated data into health records

  • Fitbit and Google announced Monday they are partnering to help physicians and patients better manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension by combining Google Cloud's Healthcare API with Fitbit's recently acquired Twine Health platform.
  • The wearables giant plans to use the Google API to connect user data and individual health records so physicians can deliver more personalized care.
  • The partnership echoes Apple's announcement in January that it was launching viewable medical records on its phones. More than 40 health systems have announced they are partnering with Apple on the initiative.

 

The move is the latest example of Silicon Valley tech giants moving into digital health. Google is increasingly reaching into healthcare by providing its infrastructure to providers, payers and other companies.

As part of the partnership, Fitbit will migrate to Google Cloud's platform. Google noted that the majority of its products support HIPAA compliance, adding that its product will allow Fitbit to expand deeper into population health analysis. 

“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,” said Gregory Moore, VP of healthcare at Google Cloud, in a statement.

The companies argued that the partnership would result in "better health outcomes and positive returns for employers, health plans and hospitals."

Google previously attempted to enter the personal health record space with it's Google Health arm, but exited in 2012 after it saw low adoption. But it appears the company has found a willing partner to help it tackle the space again.

"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,” James Park, CEO of Fitbit, said in a statement. “This collaboration will accelerate the pace of innovation to define the next generation of healthcare and wearables.”

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