Fitbit’s New Premium Service To Advance The Use Of Personal Data

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SAN FRANCISCO, United States — Fitbit has announced the launch of a new paid subscription service to address consumer demand for more actionable health and wellness insights based on personal data.

Fitbit Premium, a $10/month (or $80/year) service which will live in its existing app, will use over 10 years of insights collated from Fitbit data and various academic medical sources, to provide “actionable guidance and coaching” to help users achieve their health and fitness goals. 

The service, which launches in September will also offer customised programs, advanced sleep features, personal insights, thousands of workouts, new challenges, health reports and more.

According to the brand’s co-founder and CEO James Park, the platform marks an important milestone for the brand as it expands its “business beyond devices and delivers new and innovative ways to engage its more than 27 million active users, while also attracting new users to the Fitbit platform.”

Despite the digital health and wellness market becoming increasingly crowded, with an estimated 14 million US adults currently subscribed to a service and paying an average of $174 annually for different apps, Fitbit argues that there still remains a gap in the market for a single app that can provide quality health and fitness tools, personalised guidance and coaching all in one place. 

Read More: New Apple Watch Opens Door for Health & Wellness Companies To Capitalise

Unlike competitors such as the Oura ring, which tracks and analyses sleep data or the Strava app which analyses training data, as well as offering professional advice, Fitbit Premium provides a more holistic view of a user’s health by connecting the dots between the various elements of their wellness and how they impact one another. 

“Premium membership provides you with new personalised and cross-correlated insights, guidance and feedback based specifically on your data. These insights show you how your activities and behaviours can impact your overall health,” said the brand in a statement.

“Over time, these insights will get even smarter, with advanced guidance, feedback and suggested actions. They will prompt you to try new programs, view recommended content, nudge you to exercise and notify you if you’re getting off track.”

For example, the premium sleep features will include correlated insights based on a user’s Fitbit data that reveal connections between their sleep and activity, such as: “When you walk more than your average 8,502 steps, you get 7 more minutes of deep sleep, helping you feel more rested. Keep stepping to improve your chances of better sleep tonight.” 

Premium members will also have access to a wellness report that will let them easily share their data with their general practitioner, nutritionist or personal trainer to help them have more informed conversations with their providers. This will include trend data and graphs, as well as additional analysis of their activity, heart rate, sleep and weight data. 

Additional activity, sleep and nutrition programs will follow by the end of the year, with a personal, one-to-one coaching service already in the pipeline for 2020. 

At a press event ahead of the launch, Park revealed that the subscription service is part of a “transformation” of Fitbit’s business model in which it hopes to build “a long-term, beneficial relationship” with customers, rather than relying on one-off purchases.

Speaking to TechCrunch he also noted that although the service will initially target Fitbit users, the long-term vision is that it will pair with other devices such as Apple Watch or Garmin, as well as evolving to help people prevent and manage more serious chronic diseases.

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