Fitbit Extends Its Reach in Healthcare

The wearables company said it will acquire Twine Health, a health coaching platform aimed at lowering healthcare costs.

Fitbit Inc.

Fitbit is expanding its reach in healthcare through the proposed acquisition of Boston-based Twine Health, a connected health platform designed to help people manage chronic conditions, aid in lifestyle interventions like weight loss and smoking cessation, and make it easier for providers and patients to collaborate on health plans.

The deal, which is set to close in the first quarter, would lay the foundation for San Francisco, CA-based Fitbit to expand its offerings to health plans, health systems, and self-insured employers. It would also create opportunities to increase subscription-based revenue, the company noted. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"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," said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.

As part of the acquisition, the Twine Health team is expected to join Fitbit as part of its health solutions group, with Twine Health co-founder John Moore, MD, serving as the company's medical director.

“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 said. “That potential becomes even more compelling when combined with Fitbit, whose brand and ability to engage and motivate a diverse range of consumers is incredibly powerful. Together, we can build a complete experience to optimize health at scale, across the full spectrum from prevention to disease management.”

The acquisition of Twine Health, along with Fitbit's partnership with San Diego, CA-based DexCom shows that the consumer wearables pioneer is serious about its role in the healthcare field. That role was challenged in 2016 when a class-action lawsuit questioned the accuracy, and therefore the safety, of Fitbit's heart rate monitors.

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