Fitbit to get business Ready for Work during COVID-19

Fitbit Health Solutions today launches a new ‘Ready for Work’ solution to help employers manage workplace health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using their Fitbit devices, employees can monitor key health metrics to guide decisions on whether to go into the workplace. Daily reporting data enables employers to assess employee health and combat the workplace spread of the coronavirus.

Ready for Work continuously monitors resting heart rate, heart rate variability and breathing rate. The daily check-in feature highlights changes in these factors. Alongside self-reported symptoms, temperature, and COVID-19 exposure, the solution provides daily guidance to go to work or stay at home. Meanwhile, employers get a dashboard to monitor employees’ readiness to return to work, which can help inform workplace protocols, business continuity, and company risk profiles.

In April, The Scripps Reasearch Institute launched DETECT, a study into the use of wearable data to help detect, track and contain infectious diseases like COVID-19. The study is scheduled to run for two years and is open to US residents with devices that can share data with Google Fit or Apple HealthKit, such as Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin and others.

“From our previously published work, we know that data collected from consumer wearables can significantly improve the prediction of influenza-like illness,” said Dr. Eric Topol, Director and Founder, Scripps Research Translational Institute.

“Wearable devices are powerful because they measure nuances in biometrics potentially indicating the onset of illness that cannot be detected during a regular physician office visit,” said Dr. Michael Snyder, Director of Stanford’s Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine. “When measuring heart rate, even an increase of two heartbeats per minute could be indicative of a significant immune system response”.

To many people, Fitbit is still known as the developer of step-tracking devices. Fitbit Health Solutions develops health and wellness solutions designed to increase employee engagement, improve health outcomes, and drive a positive return for employers, health plans and health systems. The Ready for Work solution is built on Fitbit Care, and ‘motivates employees to own their health across the care continuum’.

Google agreed to acquire Fitbit in November 2019 for $2.1 billion. “With Google’s resources and global platform, Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster, and make health even more accessible to everyone,” said Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park. The acquisition is under investigation by the European Commission, which will rule on it by 20 July.

Update: the Google acquistion of Fitbit is still subject to approval by the European Commission due by 20 July 2020