San Francisco, Calif. – Dating back to 1788, wearables have been around helping individuals, even at their most basic, track our steps to help us better keep track of exercise.
Fast forward a couple centuries, and wearable health technology is a staple in many people’s lives, with most smartphones having the ability to keep track of a plethora of different information as well as companies like Garmin, Nike, Apple and Fitbit, just to name a few, launching their own personal tracking devices. All armed at helping people take complete control of their health and making micro and macro changes to reach their goals.
But one question has repeatedly surfaced: how do we use the massive amounts of health data being collected to benefit the patient/physician relationship? Even if a physician received the data, where would they populate the information and with so many layers, would they even be able to translate what they received?
Enter stage right: Fitbit and Google Cloud announced last week their new partnership to help leverage the health data being collected by Fitbit’s more than 25 million active users across 76 million Fitbit devices. The new collaboration will utilize Google’s Cloud Healthcare API to automatically send health care data to providers creating a personal opportunity to help closer manage a patient’s health and what will hopefully produce more personalized treatment plans and options.
“By enabling Fitbit to connect and manage key health and fitness data using our Google Cloud Healthcare API, we are getting one step closer to this goal. Together, we have the opportunity to deliver up-to-date information to providers, enhancing their ability to follow and manage the health of their patients and guide their treatment,” said Gregory Moore, Vice President of healthcare at Google Cloud, in a statement.
You can read more about this collaboration here.
Why This Matters –
As I stated above, it has always been a bit of a mystery with not only getting the right health data into a physician’s hands but also giving the physician and his office the right direction around what to do with that data once they receive it. Simply adding to one’s chart notes is one option but as we have reported in the past, these entries live in sort of a dark hole as it really isn’t actively connected to the rest of the patient’s history and in turn, helping tell the real story.
What also has me jazzed about this new partnership is that the power of Google’s Cloud Healthcare API has yet to be fully realized. It is exciting to see a partnership of this magnitude arise to help make the interoperability challenges we have witnessed a (possible) thing of the past. It will also be interesting to see what deeper learning can come of the massive amounts of data to not only increase patient outcomes but also help people learn more about themselves – of which we just so happen to be following a couple trends in 2018 around that topic.