Fitbit's Well Being Alliance With Google May Be A Dangerous Experiment

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

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

Most Google Cloud merchandise assist HIPAA compliance; the transfer will permit 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 attainable use is connecting person 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 attainable use helps higher handle power circumstances similar to diabetes and hypertension through the use of providers similar to Fitbit’s Twine Well being — 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 client information.

Google Cloud and Healthcare

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

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

There are just a few parts important to creating healthcare a profitable providing, in response to Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Analysis.

A kind of parts is very large seize of client information, which “is the place Fitbit is available in,” he informed TechNewsWorld.

One other is very large cloud operations to crunch synthetic intelligence, Wang stated, noting that “that is the place Google’s compute energy and AI expertise and crew come into play.”

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

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

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 US authorities have been insisting on them, remarked Michael Jude, analysis supervisor at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

Partnership Execs and Cons

“There are two drawbacks to this deal,” prompt Ian Campbell, CEO of Nucleus Analysis.

“One, Fitbit prospects can have privateness considerations, and partnering with Google will increase the anxiousness round that,” he informed TechNewsWorld.

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

“Fitbit’s problem is to beat at the moment’s cloud privateness considerations past HIPAA, particularly after the current uproar round Fb,” he identified. “Lots of very non-public data goes into the cloud, and it is not all the time clear how anonymously this information is preserved.”

Nevertheless, Google Cloud doesn’t have entry to person information collected by Fitbit or saved within the Cloud Healthcare API, Google’s Corkery stated. “Knowledge dropped at Google Cloud by its prospects and companions is managed by [them] and isn’t used for another functions. Safety, privateness and compliance are of the best precedence to Google Cloud.”

Healthcare “is a sensitive topic and the alternative of well being is, probably, dying,” Frost’s Jude informed TechNewsWorld. “When you notice that, you may notice that private moveable telemetry is a extremely dangerous concept. 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? It is a morass… Fitbit and Google could stay to remorse this partnership.”

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