Target is a worldwide corporation with nearly 1,800 stores in the U.S. and 347,000 employees worldwide. And the company is getting Fitbit activity trackers for all of their employees. Yes, Target is getting more than a third of a million trackers and giving them to their workers for free (or at a discount if someone wants one of the more advanced models).
The company is then running an “Activity Challenge” within the company. Teams will compete to see who can log the most daily average steps from October 15 to November 15. The winning teams will choose which local non-profit wellness programs will share in the $1 million pool of prize money. The program is run on a corporate wellness program provided by the Fitbit Wellness division which provides hardware, software, and services at the enterprise level. This comes on the heels of the announcement from Fitbit Wellness that their platform is now HIPAA-compliant, so that the data can be shared securely with corporate wellness partners, health plans, and self-insured employers.
This news is about much more than just a big sale for Fitbit. It points in the direction that we believe the entire wearable Health Tech market is headed. Rather than be based on single sales to consumers, these devices will be sold to the entities that have the biggest stake in the healthcare cost savings that can come from their use. In other words, the market is going to be health insurers, healthcare systems, and self-insured corporations that will see the benefits of these devices appear directly on their bottom line. Just as phone companies give you a “free” phone with your cell phone service, these wearable Health Tech devices will be provided to employees and insured individuals by the companies that stand to gain financially from their use. One third of a million units may seem like a lot, but we’re just getting started.