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Fitbit Moves into Healthcare with Acquisition of Twine Health

February 14, 2018
by Heather Landi
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Fitbit, Inc. the San Francisco-based wearables brand, is extending its reach into healthcare with the acquisition of Boston-based Twine Health, a connected health platform that provides health coaching to help people manage chronic conditions.

The acquisition lays the foundation for Fitbit to expand its offerings to health systems, health plans and self-insured employers. The deal, which is set to close in the first quarter of this year, also creates opportunities to increase subscription-based revenue, the company says.

“The acquisition will combine the power of the Fitbit platform to drive lasting behavior change with Twine Health’s clinical expertise and proven ability to help patients better manage their care through a highly scalable platform and coaching model. In the longer term, Fitbit will have the opportunity to extend the benefits of the Twine platform to its more than 25 million users and expand into new condition areas,” the company stated.

According to a Fitbit press release, Twine Health is a HIPAA-compliant connected health platform that delivers “an engaging and user-friendly experience to help people manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, and aid in lifestyle interventions, such as weight loss and smoking cessation, by making it easy for care teams of providers, coaches, friends and family to collaborate on care plans.”

“Twine Health has delivered powerful results for patients managing conditions like diabetes and hypertension – two key focus areas for Fitbit, which together affect approximately 105 million people in the U.S. alone. When combined with our decade-plus of experience empowering millions of consumers to take control of their health and wellness, we believe we can help build stronger connections between people and their care teams by removing some of the most difficult barriers to behavior change,” James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit, said in a prepared statement. “Together, we can help healthcare providers better support patients beyond the walls of the clinical environment, which can lead to better health outcomes and ultimately, lower medical costs.”

Founded in 2013 by Dr. John Moore, Frank Moss (executive chairman), and Scott Gilroy, Twine Health developed its approach based on years of behavior change and clinical research done at the MIT Media Lab. The platform is based on a combination of artificial intelligence-driven insights and human interaction to generate positive health outcomes, automating parts of the coaching process and freeing up time for more personalized care, according to the Fitbit press release.

As part of the acquisition, the Twine Health team will join Fitbit as part of its Health Solutions group. Going forward, Moore will serve as Fitbit’s medical director.

Randomized controlled trials conducted by world-renowned facilities including Massachusetts General Hospital and the Joslin Diabetes Center found that the foundational behavior change principles behind Twine Health’s technology helped drive statistically significant improvements in both diabetes and hypertension management. For example, patients at the Joslin Diabetes Center saw an average 3.2 drop in HbA1c after 3 months, and patients in Massachusetts General Hospital’s hypertension intervention saw an average 26mmHg drop in blood pressure after 3 months.

“We built Twine Health with the goal of putting people back at the center of their care, helping them take ownership of their health actions and outcomes with the continuous support of both clinicians and loved ones. Technology has a profound opportunity to facilitate this shift in behavior and give people the coaching they need to overcome the challenges that arise in daily life,” Moore, Twine Health’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Together, we can build a complete experience to optimize health at scale, across the full spectrum from prevention to disease management.”

 

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