- Fitbit has a plan to help it stay relevant as it faces more competition from companies like Apple and Garmin.
- It's launching Fitbit Care, a health platform that combines coaching, virtual care, wearable devices, and self-tracking to help employers' and health plans' employees and members get healthier.
- For now, the programme is just for consumers whose employers, health plans, or health systems opt into it.
Fitbit is making a move to become more than just a fitness device at a time when wearable competition is fierce.
The company on Wednesday announced the launch of Fitbit Care, a health platform that combines coaching, virtual care, wearable devices, and self-tracking.
Best known for its simple fitness band aimed at getting people moving, Fitbit is developing new products as its stock price has taken a tumble amid competition from companies like Apple.
After Apple debuted its new watch, which includes features like new heart-rate tracking and fall detection, shares of Fitbit fell earlier in September as much as 6%.
Here's how Fitbit Care works: The platform encompasses Fitbit's wearable band, which tracks sleep habits, activity, heart rate, and female health. Then, through a new Fitbit Plus app used on a smartphone users can get health coaching sessions and virtual care to help them reach a particular health goal, such as lowering blood pressure.
For now, the program is just for people whose employers, health plans, or health systems opt into it and pay Fitbit on a per member per month basis. That means individual people can't sign up to use the programme on their own, at least for now.
"With healthcare costs and rates of chronic disease increasing, there is a clear need for innovative tools and services to help people make the lifestyle and behaviour changes necessary to reverse this trend,” Adam Pellegrini, the general manager of Fitbit Health Solutions, said in a news release.
For many Americans, their employers are the ones picking up the tab for their healthcare. More than half of the non-elderly population is covered by an employer-sponsored healthcare plan, and almost 80% of large companies are self-insured.
As healthcare costs go up, employers are the ones feeling the pressure. Some are starting to get fed up and looking for new ideas. Platforms like Fitbit Cares are one of those ideas. In addition to employers, Fitbit said that about 5 million Humana members — those in its employer group segment — will have access to Fitbit Cares coaching.
Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- A drunken late-night call and a ‘double agent’: new dispatches from the war over Tekkie Town
- Capitec took 10.5 million customers from the big banks — here’s how it is about to go after business banking too
- Wits is a world leader in attracting money from businesses, according to a top global university survey – but UCT is the best SA university overall
- The 9 most bizarre things you can buy in Gwyneth Paltrow's new London Goop pop-up
- This is what the new R300 million 'urban park' at the Waterfront will look like
- Why Gigaba’s humiliating visa climbdown does not go far enough
- A startup has landed R140 million to popularise biltong in America – at R1,800 a kilo