Fitbit buys Twine Health in bid to become a more serious health care tool

Fitbit’s been on a bit of an acquisition spree over the last couple of years, as the company’s looked to grow its business inside the stagnating wearables category. This morning, the hardware maker announced plans to pick up Twine Health, a HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based health management platform.

The company hasn’t disclosed specific numbers for the acquisition, but expects the deal to close at some point in Q1 of this year. The integration plan seems pretty straight forward, leveraging Twine’s service with Fitbit’s large customer base, in an attempt to offer up more complex and useful health care data collected by its line of wearables. Specifically, the dataset will focus on hypertension and diabetes.

“When combined with our decade-plus of experience empowering millions of consumers to take control of their health and wellness,” Fitbit CEO James Park said in a press release issued this morning, “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. 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.” 

Fitbit and Apple have been particularly aggressive in a push to get their wearables taken more seriously as potential health care tools. In recent years, fitness trackers and smartwatches have become among the most widespread personal monitoring devices around.

While the products don’t rate as sophisticated medical equipment, they do contain enough data tracking to provide potentially useful insight into a large cross-section of the population. With this acquisition, Fitbit is no doubt hoping that its line of devices will become more indispensable for users with chronic health conditions that require daily tracking.

No specifics on what will happen to Twine’s Cambridge, Massachusetts-based staff, but the company is  set to roll into Fitbit’s Health Solutions wing, with co-founder and CEO John Moore serving as the company’s Medical Director.