Fitbit Acquires Chronic Disease Management Platform Twine
It’s been a busy few days for employee wellness benefits. Following the news that employee health platform StayWell had acquired digital health platform Provata, wearables giant Fitbit announced plans this morning to acquire chronic disease management employee benefit Twine Health. The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of this year. Twine Health provides cloud-based solutions to facilitate communication between patients and providers on chronic health goals. The move reflects Fitbit’s continued interest in digital health and employee wellness.
Fitbit may be better known as a consumer technology brand, but it has long partnered with big businesses, including BP, Barclays, and Target, which have sought to encourage employee fitness by doling out activity trackers to for free. This effort has been underpinned by online competitions and gamification of aspects of companies’ health-promotion programs.
Fitbit had made around five acquisitions before now, and one of those was a startup called Switch2Health, which developed a wellness platform for tracking and rewarding employees for maintaining healthy levels of activity. So it’s clear Fitbit has seen the potential of the business market for some time, and this latest deal fits into that scheme.
“Twine Health has delivered powerful results for patients managing conditions like diabetes and hypertension – two key focus areas for Fitbit, which together affect approximately 105 million people in the U.S. alone,” said Fitbit cofounder and CEO James Park. “When combined with our decade-plus of experience empowering millions of consumers to take control of their health and wellness, we believe we can help build stronger connections between people and their care teams by removing some of the most difficult barriers to behavior change.”
The news indicates Fitbit’s active interest in continued expansion into the employee benefit market.
Indeed, Fitbit said that the deal lays the foundation to expand into employer health plans, while giving it significant leverage to increase its subscription-based revenue. Looking further into the future, Fitbit said that it also plans to cross-sell Twine Health’s benefits to its existing users as it looks to “expand into new condition areas,” according to a press release.
“Together, we can help health care providers better support patients beyond the walls of the clinical environment, which can lead to better health outcomes and ultimately, lower medical costs,” added Park.