Fitbit launches new health care platform following Apple Watch redesign

Wearables pioneer Fitbit announced a new connected health platform, Fitbit Care, just one week after tech giant Apple revealed its new smartwatch technology, complete with FDA-approved heart monitoring services.

Fitbit Care is a connected health platform that provides coaching and virtual care aimed at improving wellness and managing and preventing disease, the company said. It leverages the company’s wearable technology, the Fitbit, along with the Fitbit Plus app, to provide personalized online or in-person coaching as users strive to reach a variety of health goals such as weight loss or chronic disease management.

The Fitbit device allows users to track sleep, heart rate and activity, in addition to other services for females. It has been traditionally retailed to consumers, but the company now appears to be targeting the health care market from the employer and servicer side.

Insurer Humana will offer Fitbit Care as the “preferred coaching solution” for its employer group segment, and more than 5 million members will have access to the platform, Fitbit said.

Shares of Fitbit rose during Wednesday’s trading session.

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The expansion into the health services segment could help Fitbit stay ahead of competition, particularly from Apple, which has shown a focus on the health care market.

Last week, Apple announced the launch of a new series of products, including a revamped Apple Watch, which includes FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) technology, as well as fall detection. The presentation featured an endorsement from the president of the American Heart Association.