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Fitbit and Google Team to use machine learning for your fitness data



Fitbit and Google work together on health. The aim is to combine individual exercise data with electronic medical records to get a better overview of fitness and chronic diseases. The deal will see Fitbit using Google's Cloud Healthcare API to translate the daily motion and training data from its wearables into the owner's patient profiles.

Launched in March, the Google Cloud Healthcare API was Alphabet's great push to bridge the heavily regulated healthcare data industry with more accessible hardware and software such as fitness trackers. It combines healthcare data types such as FHIR, DICOM and HL7 with machine learning, in the expectation that smarter manipulation of patent data will provide new insights into diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

At the time, Google seemed to be counting on its own WearOS platform ̵

1; Android Wear for short – to collect the bulk of the data. It's fair to say that despite several years of Google's efforts to sell the Android-based smartwatch operating system and numerous hardware partners trying to sell wearables running the software. In fact, the new WearOS models are still relatively scarce even after rebranding.

The role of Fitbit will therefore be simple. In the wearables segment, the company already holds the pole position worldwide when it comes to hardware. Now the software is being switched to the Google Cloud Platform. Fitbit Health Solutions will then use the various Healthcare and Internet of Things (IoT) APIs offered by Google to enable physicians, hospitals and other health care providers to enter data into their patient data.

"With this step, Fitbit can leverage the infrastructure and advanced security features of Google Cloud to accelerate the Fitbit Health Solutions business and drive public health analysis while Fitbit continues to protect consumer data," said the two companies today. "Google's AI and machine learning capabilities, as well as new predictive analytics algorithms, will further Fitbit's industry-leading efforts to provide consumers with more meaningful data and insights that help them achieve positive health outcomes."

It's not the first attempt at a centralized health business, mind. Fitbit previously supported Microsoft's push to be at the heart of digital patient records. HealthVault enabled owners of models such as the Blaze to share their training and fitness data directly with a doctor or other vendor. However, it found support in 2016.

What it does not mean, at least at this stage, is a Fitbit WearOS smartwatch. The company continues to use its own platform, which has recently been updated and enhanced with treats purchased from Fitbit's purchase of Pebble. This new OS 2.0 was delivered to the owners of the existing Fitbit Ionic smartwatch in mid-March and is already available on the Fitbit Versa, the new $ 199.99 wearable.


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