Google, Fitbit partnership will improve digital health and patient care

Wednesday, 02 May, 2018

The partnership with Alphabet Inc.'s Google is the first sign that Fitbit CEO James Park is executing on his vision to rely less on consumers and more on the health-care industry. And if some future Fitbit health applications fall under the umbrella of what the FDA deems SaMD products, Teppler worries about potential patient safety concerns.

What Is Google Cloud Healthcare API?

"This collaboration will accelerate the pace of innovation to define the next generation of healthcare and wearables", he added.

Pellegrini did, however, hint at the impact Google's AI and machine learning expertise could have on data collected through these devices and uploaded to a patient's EHR.

"We have been using the Google Cloud Genomics API for a long time and are very excited to see Google Cloud expanding its offerings to include the new Cloud Healthcare API", said Somalee Datta, Ph.D., Standford School of Medicine Director of Research IT.

The companies claim that combining Fitbit's tracker data with online electronic medical records can give patients and their healthcare providers a more detailed look at health trends, which may lead to more personalized care.

Google created the Cloud Healthcare API to provide a scalable infrastructure that makes it easier to manage different types of healthcare data from multiple sources.

As of October 2017, more than 6.8 million Fitbit users connected their data to various health programs through employers, insurers or health systems. With this Google seems to take one more step towards the healthcare industry.

Park hopes that the collaboration with Google's Cloud Platform will allow the company to enhance user experiences, while also integrating Fitbit further into the healthcare system.

Google is already providing services to several major healthcare customers, including the Cleveland Clinic, Lahey Health, M*Modal, Middlesex Hospital and Chapters Health System and the Rush University Medical Center. The API and Cloud Platform are HIPAA compliant. If the CEs are working with the vendors, the healthcare providers should inquire about the kinds of security and privacy precautions the vendors have implemented, he says.

Within Google's cloud, caregivers could access data from patients who might suffer from chronic conditions. Google's artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities as well as new predictive analytic algorithms will advance Fitbit's endeavours to bring more impactful insights and data to consumers to enable them to attain positive health outcomes.