Fitbit announced plans to acquire Twine Health, a HIPAA-compliant connected health platform. Twine Health helps people manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, and aids in lifestyle interventions such as weight loss and smoking cessation by making it easy for care teams of providers, coaches, friends and family to collaborate on care plans. The Twine Health platform brings a scalable approach to health coaching, allowing a single coach to work with a large number of patients, said the company.
The acquisition furthers Fitbit’s reach into healthcare and lays the foundation to expand its offerings to health plans, health systems and self-insured employers, while creating opportunities to increase subscription-based revenue. In the longer term, Fitbit looks to have the opportunity to extend the benefits of the Twine platform to its more than 25 million users and expand into new condition areas.
“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. 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,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. “Together, we can help healthcare providers better support patients beyond the walls of the clinical environment, which can lead to better health outcomes, and ultimately, lower medical costs.”
Founded in 2013 by Dr. John Moore, Frank Moss (Executive Chairman) and Scott Gilroy, Twine Health developed its approach based on years of behavior change and clinical research done at the MIT Media Lab. It uses a combination of artificial intelligence-driven insights to automate parts of the coaching process, thereby freeing up time for more personalized care. Randomized controlled trials conducted by world-renowned facilities including Massachusetts General Hospital and the Joslin Diabetes Center found that the foundational behavior change principles behind Twine Health’s technology helped drive statistically significant improvements in both diabetes and hypertension management. For example, patients at the Joslin Diabetes Center saw an average 3.2 drop in HbA1c after three months, and patients in Massachusetts General Hospital’s hypertension intervention saw an average 26mmHg drop in blood pressure after three months.
“We built Twine Health with the goal of putting people back at the center of their care, helping them take ownership of their health actions and outcomes with the continuous support of both clinicians and loved ones. Technology has a profound opportunity to facilitate this shift in behavior and give people the coaching they need to overcome the challenges that arise in daily life,” said Dr. Moore, Twine Health’s co-founder and CEO. “That potential becomes even more compelling when combined with Fitbit, whose brand and ability to engage and motivate a diverse range of consumers is incredibly powerful. Together, we can build a complete experience to optimize health at scale, across the full spectrum from prevention to disease management.”
As part of the acquisition, the Twine Health team will join Fitbit as part of its Health Solutions group. Dr. Moore will serve as Fitbit’s Medical Director.
The acquisition is expected to close in Q1 2018.