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The Fitbit's Health Alliance With Google Could Be a Risky Experiment

Fitbit and Google announced a new partnership in healthcare on Monday. Fitbit will develop consumer health solutions and companies that will use the new Google Cloud Healthcare API.

Fitbit will also go to the Google Cloud Platform to innovate and develop its products and services.

Most Google Cloud products support HIPAA compliance; The move will allow Fitbit to leverage Google Cloud's infrastructure and security features as well as Google's AI and machine learning capabilities and its new predictive analytical algorithms.

One possible use is to link user data to electronic medical records or EMRs to provide patients and healthcare professionals with a more comprehensive view of the patient's profile, allowing them to facilitate more personalized care.

Another possible use is Fitbit's services developed by Twin Health, such as a health training platform developed by Twin, which Fitbit purchased in February. Twin Healthcare will allow professionals and patients to more easily collaborate with the Google Cloud Healthcare API.

Google Cloud and Healthcare

Joe Cork, head of product health and life sciences at Google Cloud, said the Google Cloud Healthcare API uses a standardized plan to make the acceptance and storage of healthcare data easier.

He then provides links to Google cloud analytics, such as BigQuery, and machine learning, such as the cloud ML engine, he told TechNewsWorld.

According to Ray Wang, senior analyst at Constellation Research, there are some key elements to make healthcare a success

One of these components is capturing big data for consumers, "where Fitbit comes from," he told TechNewsWorld.

The other thing, Wang said, is that there are huge cloud operations to eliminate AI, pointing out that "this is where the power of Google account and the skills and teams of AI play."

Integration is also a key component in EMRs, he said, "It helps move devices - IoT data - and the patient records in one place and makes it easier to liquidate the future."

In short, Wang stated that the current state of electromagnetic schemes is "normal".

"It costs ($ 250,000) to add a button on the Epic to the hospital; they have destroyed the market's innovation and enslaved doctors," Wang said.

However, the adoption of EMR continues to occur with both the health insurance provider and the US government, as noted by Michael Jude as director of research at Stratecast / Frost & Sullivan.

Pros and cons of partnership

Nucleus Research CEO Ian Campbell suggested, "The deal has two flaws."

"First, Fitbit's customers have concerns about privacy, and partnering with Google raises concerns about that," he told TechNewsWorld.

"Two, Google's history with wearable devices is not entirely positive," Campbell said. "For example, Google Glass is now the poster child of creative ideas that have never translated into a good product or even viable."

"The challenge for Fitbit is beyond HIPAA to address cloud privacy concerns today, especially after discussions about Facebook," he said. "A lot of personal information goes to the cloud, and it's not always clear how this data is kept."

However, Google Cloud does not have access to user data collected by Fitbit or stored in the Cloud Healthcare API, according to Google Corkery. "The data brought to the Google Cloud is controlled by [their] customers and their partners and is not used for any other purposes. Security, privacy and compliance are a top priority for Google Cloud."

"Once you realize this, you'll realize that mobile personal telemetry is actually a bad idea. That's why Apple Watch abandoned health monitoring apps before release."

What if telemetry is not ideal? He asked Jude. "If a sensor fails to record a life-threatening situation and someone dies who is responsible; it's a state of crisis ... Fitbit and Google may regret this partnership.

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