Following our piece on clinical trials, recent developments at Fitbit Inc. could soon see wearables becoming a focus within healthcare infrastructure. The wearables manufacturer has recently hired Adam Pellegrini, a key e-commerce executive, to pioneer its push into the digital healthcare industry.
The former VP of digital health at Walgreen Co. will focus on developing productive relationships with healthcare providers and insurance companies as part of Fitbit’s strategy to work closer with corporate America on fitness, health and online well-being. Earlier this year saw the creation of a new business unit, Fitbit Group Health, that will consist of four areas: corporate wellness, weight management, insurance and research. Fitbit Group Health will manage all of the company’s offerings under one umbrella with a focus on targeting employers that either want to launch a corporate wellness initiative or expand their current program.
Corporate wellness will see company employees receive the latest Fitbit technology to help them track their fitness efforts as part of a company-wide health initiative. Personal weight loss plans can be created that will allow employers to collect and measure activity data. Employers will also be able to offer insurance plans through partnerships with approved health insurance companies. The final area, research, will see unique health studies developed with various organisations such as the Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic.
Pellegrini will help develop insights through the connection of Fitbit products and the health data that comes from them. These insights can then be applied to clinical studies through partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, health insurance companies and healthcare providers.
Previously, Pellegrini was responsible for Walgreens’ digital healthcare operations including mobile app development and user experience refinement. In 2015, they partnered with Florida-based mobile health app developers MDLIVE Inc. to create digital doctor visits that are now available to consumers in 25 states across the US.
In an incredibly innovative turn, Walgreens allows loyalty program members to earn points for monitoring their blood pressure and glucose levels through their mobile application. These points can then be redeemed for discounts, savings and coupons on Walgreens.com or in any of their stores. The retailer has said a prescription is refilled every second via their app and mobile traffic to Walgreens.com now accounts for almost 40% of total monthly visits.
Fitbit’s digital health strategy could potentially lead to increased engagement with healthcare wearables in the future. Giving employees the opportunity to benefit from a corporate wellness program could see improvements with morale, employee satisfaction and well-being, whilst connecting wearables with loyalty schemes could see users benefit from their efforts in more ways than one.