Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Fitbit combines health coaching and virtual care

Steve Rogerson
October 2, 2018

Fitbit has announced a connected health platform for health plans, employers and health systems that combines health coaching and virtual care through the Fitbit Plus app, wearable devices and self-tracking and personalised digital interventions to help improve wellness, disease management and prevention.
Fitbit Care leverages the company’s decade-plus of experience inspiring people to get healthy, combined with the clinically-proven behaviour change principles of Twine Health, which Fitbit acquired earlier this year, to improve care team collaboration and health outcomes across the spectrum of care.
The company also announced that Humana has selected Fitbit Care as a preferred coaching product for its employer group segment. More than five million Humana members will have the potential to access Fitbit health coaching or wellness products through a range of wellness programmes and capabilities, such as Go365 and the Humana EAP employee assistance programme.
“With the introduction of Fitbit Care, we continue to expand our healthcare offerings with a new, bundled subscription offering that can help improve outcomes for some of the most common and costly conditions in healthcare, such as diabetes and hypertension,” said Adam Pellegrini, general manager of Fitbit Health. “This unique offering will allow us to better support our 1600-plus enterprise health customers and the 100-plus health plans that we work with through a comprehensive platform that can help deliver positive, lasting outcomes for their employees and members.”
The Fitbit Care platform includes:

  • Wearables and self-tracking: Fitbit devices and software allow individuals to track activity, sleep, heart rate and other metrics continuously, such as female health tracking to help people better understand their overall health and reach their health goals. With a user’s consent, real-time, objective health data also provide care teams with a more comprehensive picture of an individual’s health for more personalised recommendations and care.
  • Personalised digital interventions: Fitbit Care delivers community social support tools with challenges, private social groups within Fitbit’s social feed and guided workouts that provide anywhere, anytime training. With more ways to customise social communities and digital tools to support healthy behaviour, enterprises can provide members and employees with even more motivation and encouragement to achieve their health goals.
  • Health coaching and virtual care: For the first time, Fitbit Health is making health coaching available to enterprise health users. Coaches work with participants and their care teams to create and execute personalised care plans. The coaches build strong connections with individuals via in-app communications, phone and in-person meetings to support their goals such as weight management or tobacco cessation; management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or depression; and complex conditions such as chronic pulmonary obstructive disease or congestive heart failure.
“With Fitbit Care, we are empowering people to take control of their health by providing the accountability, support, guidance and resources that remove some of the most difficult barriers to behaviour change,” said John Moore, medical director at Fitbit Health. “Supporting patients beyond the walls of the doctor’s office is one of the most important things we can do to drive successful outcomes, and as a clinician I see great potential for Fitbit Care to help tackle some of the biggest challenges in healthcare and improve health outcomes at scale.”
Individuals who are enrolled in the health coaching component of Fitbit Care through their employer, health plan or health system will have access to a new app, called Fitbit Plus, to augment the Fitbit experience.
The app lets individuals communicate directly with their care team and health coach, so they can receive personalised guidance and support at the time and place that is best for them.
Fitbit Plus also supports the integration of more advanced health metrics including blood glucose, blood pressure or medication adherence for tracking alongside data from Fitbit and other third-party connected devices. This app allows users to see critical health data conveniently in one place to understand trends better over time.