Published: Wed, May 02, 2018
Tech | By

Fitbit partners with Google to improve health data sharing

Fitbit partners with Google to improve health data sharing

Fitbit will use the API to ensure that its data is safely transferred to Google's cloud. Fitbit has announced that it's moving over to Google's cloud as the wearable company continues its push into healthcare.

The wearable fitness tracking device has always been associated with tracking fitness and physical activity. This would make it easier for physicians to learn more about a patient and provide more personalized treatment by using the data collected by the patient's Fitbit device.

Google's Cloud for Healthcare initiative happens to be a massive effort in creating a network of sorts that would comprise of healthcare professionals and medical centers at one end with users of smart wearable health tracking systems being the other. People who strap Fitbits, smartwatches, and other devices to their wrists are often limited to viewing their data in consumer-grade apps that deliver only modest detail on activity, movement, and general health.

Fitbit will look to connect its own user data with data such as electronic medical records listed on Google's newly launched healthcare cloud platform, the Google Cloud Healthcare API, in the aim of providing a more comprehensive and detailed outlook on patients, better enabling doctors to track and diagnose diseases or conditions.

Fitness trackers monitor and collect reams of data, but that data not always used effectively.

Following news of the deal, Fitbit's shares rose five percent to close at $5,55 on Monday. In terms of partnerships, this one makes sense - if you ignore the concerning data sharing practices. Among them is the platform's support for HIPAA compliance. The attackers also reportedly had access to customer data, including Global Positioning System history, which shows where a person regularly runs or cycles, as well as data showing what time a person usually goes to sleep (see Fitbit Hack: What are the Lessons?). Clients using TensorFlow gain access to the Tensor Processing Unit to run and scale their models, according to Google Cloud's website. Google's artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities as well as new predictive analytic algorithms will advance Fitbit's endeavours to bring more impactful insights and data to consumers to enable them to attain positive health outcomes.

Neither Fitbit nor Google immediately responded to Information Security Media Group's requests for comment.

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