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Fitbit’s Health Alliance With Google Could Be a Risky Experiment
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Fitbit’s Health Alliance With Google Could Be a Risky Experiment

Fitbit and Google on Monday introduced a new partnership on healthcare. Fitbit will develop shopper and enterprise well being options that may use Google’s new Cloud Healthcare utility programming interface.

Fitbit additionally will transfer to the Google Cloud Platform to innovate and advance its services.

Most Google Cloud merchandise assist HIPAA compliance; the transfer will enable Fitbit to leverage Google Cloud’s infrastructure and security measures, in addition to Google’s synthetic intelligence and machine studying capabilities, and its new predictive analytic algorithms.

One potential use is connecting consumer information with digital medical information, or EMRs, to supply each sufferers and healthcare professionals with a extra complete view of a affected person’s profile, which might facilitate extra customized care.

One other potential use helps higher handle continual situations corresponding to diabetes and hypertension by utilizing providers corresponding to Fitbit’s Twine Health — the well being teaching platform developed by Twine, which was acquired by Fitbit in February. Twine will let healthcare professionals and sufferers extra simply collaborate utilizing Google’s Cloud Healthcare API.

Fitbit pledged to take care of its dedication to defending shopper information.

Google Cloud and Healthcare

The Google Cloud Healthcare API makes use of customary schema to simplify taking in and storing healthcare information, mentioned Joe Corkery, Google Cloud’s head of product healthcare and life sciences.

It then gives connectors to Google Cloud’s analytics, corresponding to BigQuery, and machine studying, corresponding to Cloud ML Engine, he instructed TechNewsWorld.

There are a few parts important to creating healthcare a profitable providing, in line with Ray Wang, principal analyst at .

A kind of parts is huge seize of shopper information, which “is the place Fitbit is available in,” he instructed TechNewsWorld.

One other is huge cloud operations to crunch synthetic intelligence, Wang mentioned, noting that “that is the place Google’s compute energy and AI abilities and workforce come into play.”

Integration to EMRs is also a vital part, he mentioned, because it “helps with bringing the gadgets — IoT information — and affected person information into one place and makes it straightforward to monetize with insurance coverage sooner or later.”

In a nutshell, the present state of EMRs is “sh*tty,” Wang mentioned.

The Fitbit-Google Cloud partnership “is generally upside,” as a result of “gamers like Epic have destroyed the market with a monopoly on legacy tech,” he continued.

“It prices (US)$250,000 for a hospital so as to add a button on Epic; they’ve destroyed innovation available in the market and enslaved the physicians,” Wang noticed.

Nonetheless, EMR adoption has been on the rise, as each medical health insurance suppliers and the USA authorities have been insisting on them, remarked Michael Jude, analysis supervisor at .

Partnership Execs and Cons

“There are two drawbacks to this deal,” advised Ian Campbell, CEO of .

“One, Fitbit clients may have privateness considerations, and partnering with Google will increase the nervousness round that,” he instructed TechNewsWorld.

“Two, Google’s historical past with wearables is not precisely optimistic. For instance, Google Glass is now the poster youngster for inventive concepts that by no means translated into a good, and even viable, product,” Campbell mentioned.

“Fitbit’s problem is to beat at present’s cloud privateness considerations past HIPAA, particularly after the latest uproar round Fb,” he identified. “Quite a lot of very non-public info goes into the cloud, and it is not at all times clear how anonymously this information is preserved.”

Nonetheless, Google Cloud doesn’t have entry to consumer information collected by Fitbit or saved within the Cloud Healthcare API, Google’s Corkery mentioned. “Information delivered to Google Cloud by its clients and companions is managed by [them] and isn’t used for some other functions. Safety, privateness and compliance are of the very best precedence to Google Cloud.”

Healthcare “is a sensitive topic and the alternative of well being is, probably, demise,” Frost’s Jude instructed TechNewsWorld. “When you notice that, you will notice that private moveable telemetry is a actually unhealthy thought. That is why the Apple Watch deserted its well being monitoring apps previous to its launch.”

What if the telemetry is not good? Jude requested. “If a sensor fails to register a life threatening situation and somebody dies who’s accountable? That is a morass… Fitbit and Google could dwell to remorse this partnership.”
Fitbit's Health Alliance With Google Could Be a Risky Experiment


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