Fitbit, Google partner for smarter fitness bands

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In February 2018, it acquired health care software company Twine Health so that users could collaborate with doctors on important medical decisions.

Another wrinkle to this collaboration is that Google and Fitbit will collaborate on both consumer and enterprise products.

Twine Health's program is aimed at changing behavior to improve chronic condition management by supporting coaching interactions between health professionals and patients.

The agreement between Fitbit Inc and Google isn't just limited to the Cloud Healthcare API.

The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Healthcare API is a tool meant to provide doctors and healthcare professionals the ability to collect and manage medical data and launch machine-learning projects in the cloud.

The core idea is to give patients and providers a better view of a patient's health, which can lead to a personalized care plan, according to the companies. The information received could be the key to identifying certain patterns, which could then be used to help improve patient outcomes. The goal is to implement artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to help evolve the healthcare industry.

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Google announced Cloud for Healthcare, taking a major step into the world of health, which comprised around $3.3 trillion in USA spending in 2016 alone.

For its part, the company is leveraging existing cloud offerings to create an information sharing infrastructure for the massive world of healthcare.

Fitbit has sold some 76 million devices and has an active user base of 25 million.

Also, entities and patients should be aware of potential security threats - such as man-in-the-middle attacks - when a consumer wearable - whether a Fitbit device or other application - connects directly with a healthcare organization's records system, he notes. Fitbit will use the API to further integrate with the healthcare system, and will also move to Google's Cloud Platform.

Fitbit's collaboration with Google Cloud follows other healthcare partners since its launch at HIMSS in March including M*Modal, Lahey Health, Cleveland Clinic, and Rush University Medical Center. Fitbit is one of the fist to be given access to the fledgling API from Google, which is still in the early stages of testing. The steady flow of health data would also help doctors identify otherwise hard to diagnose diseases and react accordingly, the companies hope. The attackers also reportedly had access to customer data, including Global Positioning System history, which shows where a person regularly runs or cycles, as well as data showing what time a person usually goes to sleep (see Fitbit Hack: What are the Lessons?). We'll keep you updated when they release a new feature or product within this collaboration.

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