Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Fitbit partners Singapore in healthy living programme

Steve Rogerson
September 3, 2019

Fitbit is collaborating with Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) on a healthy population project in support of the country’s Smart Nation initiative. This is Fitbit’s first major integration of a digital health platform and wearables into a national public health programme globally.
The HPB is Singapore’s government agency that implements policy and programmes to improve the nation’s health. The initiative, named Live Healthy SG, was designed for Singapore by Fitbit and the HPB to harness technology, behaviour insights and analytics to help Singaporeans get healthier through meaningful and sustained behaviour change.
Live Healthy SG will engage people of all ages and levels of health using Fitbit devices and its new Premium service, which is launching to consumers in select markets around the world this autumn.
Live Healthy SG builds on Singapore’s Smart Nation efforts to transform key sectors of society, including healthcare, through innovative technology. As one of the healthiest countries in the world, Singapore is recognised globally for its efficient healthcare system, comprised of high-quality health services, world-class infrastructure and skilled healthcare talent. But, like many nations, the country is facing the rise of chronic conditions such as hypertension, type-two diabetes and cancer.
Fitbit was identified through a competitive call for collaboration and various levels of competitive evaluation. The initiative takes on the challenge of using its technology to help improve population health, based on the company’s ability to drive behaviour change and health outcomes.
“The area of population health presents an exciting opportunity for innovation,” said Zee Yoong Kang, CEO of the Health Promotion Board. “Increasingly, the Health Promotion Board has leveraged emerging technologies as well as behaviour insights in the design of our programmes.”
These included the National Steps Challenge, a nationwide programme to keep active, to encourage Singaporeans to adopt healthy living and to affect behaviour change.
“HPB will continue to embark on such nationwide programmes to encourage and support Singaporeans in keeping active, adopting healthy living and affecting behaviour change,” said Kang. “At the same time, we intend to work with industry innovators, such as Fitbit, on additional efforts to use technology to provide Singaporeans with personalised health advice and nudges, so that they can take control of their own health. Participants of this programme will benefit from Fitbit’s plans to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning to encourage physical activity, healthy eating and better sleep quality. The insights gathered can also help to enrich HPB’s health promotion programmes.”
Live Healthy SG will leverage the full Fitbit ecosystem of wearable devices, software and services, including programmes, guidance and individual one-to-one health coaching that will be offered through its Premium service. Participants will receive a dynamic and personalised experience, helping to motivate them to adopt healthier habits and achieve better outcomes in the areas of physical activity, sleep, nutrition and emotional wellbeing.
“At Fitbit, our focus has always been on making health more accessible and achievable by giving people fun, simple and innovative technology, and this focus has driven results for millions around the world,” said James Park, cofounder and CEO of Fitbit. “Our partnership with the Singapore Health Promotion Board is a recognition of our work to date, and we are confident that the powerful combination of our devices, software and services will motivate Singaporeans to improve their health, while also tangibly helping a nation to improve health at scale. We commend Singapore for its leadership and look forward to seeing other countries follow a similar blueprint to improve the health of their people.”
In the partnership, the HPB will leverage its outreach channels to support Fitbit in encouraging participation in its programme. When participants sign on to the Fitbit programme, there will also be a clear and seamless consent process to indicate if they agree to share their data during the programme with the HPB. Such data will, in turn, provide insights and contribute to more health promotion programmes that should benefit many Singaporeans.
Singaporeans will be able to pre-register for Live Healthy SG starting mid-September, and the programme will officially go live in late October. Participants who enrol in and commit to one year of the Fitbit Premium service will receive a Fitbit Inspire HR at no cost. In addition to driving positive lifestyle changes in individuals, the programme will serve as a resource that provides detailed population insights to inform future health programmes. This enables the HPB to explore other opportunities in precision public health, providing interventions to the right population at the right time.