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Fitbit’s focusing on the health care market with its new premium fitness coaching feature

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Today, Fitbit announced a new service called Fitbit Care that’ll coach users on staying well, whether that means sticking to their fitness plans or managing diseases. It’s a premium product designed for health care customers or employers and health systems that use Fitbit to keep tabs on employees’ health efforts and keep costs low.

These users have to download a new app — Fitbit Plus — that’ll process data from Fitbit wearables and other medical devices, like blood pressure monitors. The app also serves as a social platform of sorts where people can connect in support groups and employers can post motivating messages. The first users come from health insurance provider Humana, which already provides customers with Fitbit devices.

The big goal is for users to connect with their doctors on this platform. Doctors could check in on a user’s daily metrics and ensure that treatment is working for specific issues. This, of course, requires the medical team’s participation, but, presumably, Humana will have people on call when the service rolls out. Fitbit wants to be the one place everyone connects over health, essentially. For now, the service is only available through employers and health care providers, so general users can’t try it out.

The announcement of this platform follows Fitbit’s acquisition of Twine Health earlier this year. Fitbit Care is clearly a direct result of that acquisition, as Twine Health was a collaborative software platform designed for workplace health. It follows Apple’s push into the health care market with its Apple Watch. The company just announced its new Apple Watch Series 4 that includes a built-in electrocardiogram.