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Fitbit buys startup Twine Health to grow health services, revenue

Fitbit just announced that it’s acquired a small Boston-based software startup called Twine Health.

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Twine Health offers a HIPAA-compliant health coaching platform that aims to help users improve health outcomes. The platform is also pitched as a way for workplace health providers to lower healthcare costs by encouraging users to manage chronic conditions and make lifestyle changes alongside teams of providers, coaches, friends and family.

Fitbit plans to use Twine Health as a way to add a scalable platform and coaching model to its repertoire of health services and ultimately increase subscription-based revenue streams.

“With this acquisition, Fitbit further extends its 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,” Fitbit wrote in a press release.

Fitbit has been ramping up its healthcare strategy over the last year or so.

Fitbit is one of 9 companies in an FDA program designed to fast track digital therapeutics and health apps. The company, just more than a year out from a big restructuring, is also expanding its role in health tracking to encompass mental health as well as sleep apnea. Fitbit also formed a partnership with Dexcom on continuous glucose monitoring on the Fitbit Ionic, and the company also counts Medtronic as a partner.

More: Fitbit aims for device to data pivot: Can you monetize 90 billion hours of heart rate data, 85 trillion steps? | Fitbit tips data, services strategy with coaching, health program app | Fitbit teams with Dexcom for glucose monitoring on Ionic watch | Fitbit has just set up its largest European RD center | UnitedHealthcare, Qualcomm Life, Fitbit aim to expand corporate wellness | Fitbit secures corporate wellness deals with several major customers | Fitbit combines corporate wellness offerings into new group health program

The trick for Fitbit is navigating the Apple factor. The Apple Watch is gaining ground in the enterprise and healthcare space, and the Cupertino tech giant obviously has more resources in the bank to see its way to the finish line. But Fitbit is an early entrant to the healthcare and enterprise space and has a solid shot at building a defensible business around the market.

Fitbit didn’t disclose how much it paid for Twine Health, but Crunchbase lists the company as having raised around $10 million in funding since its founding four years ago. Organizationally, the Twine Health team will join Fitbit’s Health Solutions group, and the startup’s CEO John Moore will serve as Fitbit’s medical director.

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