First, they counted steps. Then fitness trackers gained additional types of exercise monitoring and record-keeping, followed by biometrics. Today wrist-borne activity wearables are stepping up to address the needs of enterprises that seek packaged solutions to encourage and support employee health and wellness.
No brand beats the wristband fitness tracker drum stronger than Fitbit, one of the original entrants to the field and in the top three for best-selling wearables worldwide. As part of its ongoing pivot from consumer fitness to corporate health and wellness, Fitbit recently launched Fitbit Health Solutions’ Fitbit Care engagement platform. Fitbit Care is an enterprise-only system powered by trackers, smartwatches, and mobile devices with a mobile app for employees and a dashboard with reporting tools for employers.
Employee-facing Fitbit Care features include setting and tracking personal health and fitness goals, a nutrition log, “Reminders to Move” to get people to stay active during the day, guided breathing exercises to manage stress, personal sleep trends reporting and sleep reminders, and access to the 20+ million Fitbit community for news, support, and fitness and health group participation.
Fitbit Care employers can use the platform to motivate and promote with a private group feed. Employers can also evaluate program progress and performance of groups and individuals, with no mention of HIPAA-compliance. Employers can set up company, challenges, incorporate custom device subsidy programs, and offer a variety of compatible devices at discounted prices.
Humana Inc. recently announced that it chose Fitbit Care as a preferred solution for health coaching for wellness and prevention and with high-risk and chronic conditions groups.
Fitness, health, and wellness programs work for some people, and widespread adoption will encourage others to engage. There are privacy concerns about programs that give employers individual employee health data, even with disclaimers and disclosures, but companies and their employees will have to weigh these concerns against the benefits. Given the potential savings and productivity gains, we can expect to see similar programs become available in short order. Clearly, Fitbit has staked out this territory for its own and challengers may find it difficult to compete.