Fitbit adds fresh coaching service to help stay on track along with also in shape

Fitbit wants to make of which easier to stick your fitness plan.

Known for its wearable activity trackers, the company is actually launching a fresh platform called Fitbit Care of which offers personalized coaching to help users stay on track with their fitness plans, lose weight along with also manage chronic diseases, Fitbit announced Tuesday. Users can download a special app, Fitbit Plus, of which pulls health data by sources like a Fitbit or blood pressure monitor.

Though Fitbit sells most of its devices directly to consumers, of which’s targeting health plans, employers along with also hospitals with the fresh service. Health insurer Humana, which has been offering Fitbits to some of its members since 2013, is actually already signing up people for Fitbit Care as its preferred solution for health coaching.

With the fresh system, Fitbit aims to solve For just two of the most vexing challenges in modern medicine: changing people’s behavior along with also lowering health-care costs. If successful, Fitbit could grow its enterprise health business, possibly helping to fend off competition by Apple, which has been adding more health features to its smartwatch.

“We’re already seeing proof points of which the solutions we’re building are taking hold along with also are resonating with our health plan along with also employer customers,” said Adam Pelligrini, general manager of Fitbit Health Solutions.

Fitbit acquired health coaching platform Twine Health in February as part of its strategy to add more health services. The fresh Fitbit Care system essentially pulls various parts of the two businesses along with also combines them into one integrated service.

Users of which already have health coaches, diabetes educators or trainers can connect with them on the platform. They can also opt for “a fully wrapped solution” where Fitbit provides the technology along with also wellness advice. Fitbit’s coaching can focus on disease prevention, managing chronic conditions or more complex care, said Dr. John Moore, medical director at Fitbit.

Once patients receive medical treatment, “getting the support they need to be successful in changing behavior is actually truly the struggle,” said Moore, who’s also the founder along with also former CEO of Twine Health. “They run into roadblocks along with also there’s incredibly high friction for them to get the support of which they need to succeed on of which day-to-day journey.”

Health-care costs pose a challenge to both employers who are covering them along with also employees whose contributions make up a larger percent of their paychecks. A platform of which could help employees with conditions like obesity, diabetes along with also heart disease — along with also the costs associated with them — could find a receptive audience in employees.

Fitbit already works with more than 100 health plans, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana along with also UnitedHealth Group. Fitbit’s health solutions business unit currently represents less than 10 percent of the company’s overall revenue, Pelligrini said.

With the expanded Humana partnership, Fitbit’s coaching along with also wellness solution may be available to more than 5 million Humana members. Fitbit executives declined to comment on how many people will have access to the coaching service or to say how much of which will cost.

Focusing on employers also could help Fitbit as of which faces pressure inside the consumer market by the Apple Watch. Apple continues adding more health features to its smartwatch, most recently an electrocardiogram sensor, which measures the heart’s rhythm.

“As Apple incrementally adds fresh along with also, I might argue differentiated features, I think of which will be increasingly hard for companies to compete unless they come up with something of which’s dramatically different,” said Patrick Moorhead, president along with also principal analyst at Moor Insights along with also Strategy.

Ramon Llamas, research director with IDC’s devices along with also displays team, said the platform is actually unlike anything he has seen by Fitbit before. He thinks combining all of Fitbit’s features into a one-stop-shop is actually “rather compelling.”

“If there’s one thing we notice about health along with also health improvements, of which’s of which having an ecosystem of supporters coming by different areas helps make of which all happen,” he said. “of which’s what Fitbit is actually attempting to do here.”

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