Fitbit recently purchased Twine Health. Why is that something I’m writing about? Twine Health is a health coaching platform that helps you manage chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension. This is critical given the fact that tech companies are trying to provide you wearables that also offer a way to help you manage your health conditions. The Twine platform also has the capability of helping people to quit smoking. The reason that this is so huge is that now Fitbit owns the ability (and the technology) to be able to roll this kind of thing out on their platform. Will this make Fitbits more appealing than an Apple Watch?
I think that this is huge news. I know that Apple has been working on how to develop this kind of technology, and they’re making headway. With the Apple Watch Series 3, they were able to include a heart rate monitor. So if your heart rate spiked out of the ordinary, or it was constantly at a certain rate, your Watch would know. Therefore giving you the ability to monitor these kinds of conditions before they become problematic. Anyone with any kind of long-term condition will understand how important this is. I have been dealing with a condition for most of my adult life, which, if untreated could lead to diabetes. While I’m not diabetic, I really had to monitor my diet. Not necessarily based on what I was eating (although that plays a part), but rather how much I was eating and how often.
It’s unclear exactly what Fitbit is going to do with this, it potentially could revolutionize wearables. That is unless Apple gets there first. Going back to my story for a moment. Over the last two years, I have potentially reversed the diabetes aspect of my condition. No, it doesn’t mean that I’m immune from getting diabetes, but I’ve changed my course. I attribute some of this success to the fact that I have the ability to track both my food and fitness through an app. With better technology, maybe it wouldn’t have taken so long. Or maybe I would have had a better idea of what the issues were long ago.
There are other things that helped with this success, but honestly, technology did play a significant role. I think, for the most part, we downplay the way that technology actually helps us in our day to day lives. But I don’t know why we do that. Think about this from a bigger picture perspective. Health insurance companies could provide this kind of technology to their clients to make sure that they’re actually treating and managing existing conditions. Yes, that does sound a bit like big brother, but some car insurance companies offer these kinds of incentives. And without technology, they can’t tell what you’re doing. In my case, I was able to go from taking two significant medications, which essentially were a life sentence to not taking any.
Think about how this could benefit the healthcare industry? If you’re able to have some kind of accountability to monitor your progress, you’re going to limit the number of times you actually need to see a doctor. Which could help reduce your insurance premiums. I think that this is the next step with wearables, and I’m very (very) excited to see who makes it there first.