November 12, 2019

Google and Fitbit: The increased importance of health data

In today’s world data is currency. It’s at the centre of big business buyouts and is the facilitator of the next potential stage of human evolution. Unsurprisingly it’s dominated much of the discussion about recent developments surrounding Google and Fitbit.

For many people data’s a scary concept, but when framed in the context of personalisation it becomes more palatable, acceptable and then for some even desired.

So, why is data so important? It helps us learn more about groups of people and individuals and crucially it helps the provision of a tailored and personalised experience. Personalisation is key and has been the real driving force behind the concept of data as currency.

The desire for personalisation

More than half of consumers demand products that have been personalised for them in some way, while as many as 72% of online users will only engage with ads that are personal and tailored. This is despite 86% being worried about the use of their personal data.

This is where the data conundrum plays out for consumers.

For many there are question marks over why personal data is so important, but it’s their own desires, needs and demands that has driven the trend. Tech giants are using this data collection to gleam better user insights to tailor their offerings and personalise their products in a way that will benefit consumers.

Consumer desire has effectively created the market itself. Yet questions still remain, and data often becomes an unnecessarily negative buzzword.

This balance between data concern and data desire is currently being played out with the recent buyout of Fitbit by Google.

The detail is in the data

As soon as the deal was first announced, questions were being asked and both parties were quick to address the issue.

Users will have control over their data, data collection will always be transparent, personal information won’t be sold, and health and wellness data won’t be used for Google ads.

There’s been plenty of media hype in this area.

What has been ignored in many circles is the potential impact on the healthcare industry. Again this plays into the acceptability and desirability of data being collected.

Google and Fitbit were already working together and announced a partnership in 2018 to bring health and fitness data to doctors and healthcare services. At this time Fitbit’s intention was to use Google Healthcare API to integrate Fitbit data into medical records. This comes on the back of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, running projects under its Verily Life Sciences research organisation facilitating a move into the health-monitoring space.

When we talk about data driving the next stage of human evolution, healthcare insights is set to be the real catalyst in this area. In line with this, the work we’re doing at Prevayl ® is set to drive one of the biggest health trends for 2020 and the coming years; the capability of individuals to take ownership of their own health data.

The importance of the partnership

Google has already been making headway into healthcare, so was the buyout necessary? Could the two have coexisted without the need to come together and raise questions about the use of data?

With this deal, Google gets hardware and software teams with wearable-tech expertise. That immediately brings knowledge of product development for a successful and desirable consumer-focused wearable device. Add this to previous technology that was bought earlier this year and it shows the importance of getting the hardware right, something that Google hasn’t always done.

What they have traditionally always done well is the software, whether that’s the use of machine learning or AI. With the collaboration in this area, the results for the end users will be an even more personalised experience.

Data collection, extrapolation and analysis will fuel personalisation. Fitbit users will just be the beginning.

Personalisation and an insight-driven healthcare experience

At Prevayl, we’re creating the world’s most advanced health-tech ecosystem.

Through the creation of wearable technology that is seamlessly integrated into clothing, we’re providing the opportunity to make wearable clothing ubiquitous. First through the ease and use for the consumer, secondly through the ability to ensure adoption and utilisation by multiple brands and industries.

With the collection of more bio-data from the human body than any current leading wearable device, we’re powering the largest ever known platform of human insights. Data is central to our ability as a healthy insights provider.

This advanced facilitation of data collection doesn’t just promise increased personalisation in the healthcare sector, it offers the opportunity for users to have their own personal curated heath management system.

They have the ability to interact and participate with their own health data and gain pre-emptive healthy insights that will signpost them away from illness and towards better health.

This is the importance of data and individual healthcare insights for the next potential stage in human evolution.