Wearables

Health Tech Firm Livongo Connects With Wearables

wearable fitness tracker

Livongo, a technology and health company that helps people with chronic conditions like diabetes, has announced that it will be able to connect to the Apple Watch, Fitbit and other wearables, according to a report by CNBC

While wearables were once totally focused on fitness, they’ve since come to be used to help monitor people with health conditions, and if the Livongo addition works, it would potentially become a must-have item for a certain group of people. 

This could even mean that it would give new revenue streams to both the company and wearables, with the possibility of insurance companies subsidizing the devices. A recent study showed that six out of 10 Americans are dealing with a chronic disease issue. 

Livongo would work by sending alerts — maybe a reminder to do a blood sugar reading for a diabetic, or a nudge to eat healthier, or even work out.

Amar Kendale, Livongo chief product officer, said that the company is well aware of “alert fatigue,” and has been working for a long time on trying to find the right balance of notifications. Kendale said the company does not want users to feel overloaded. 

There will also be five-day health challenges for users, which Kendale said is about the time it takes for someone to develop new habits. The notifications are meant to be user-specific, as opposed to one-size-fits-all type alerts. The company hopes to eventually learn enough about the user to find out what would be the most helpful suggestion. 

Adam Pellegrini, Fitbit’s general manager of health solutions, said that the integration with Livongo is meant to push people toward better health in general and to trigger a change in behavior. He said the collaboration pushes both the wearables company and Livongo past simply just tracking activity.

The move, he said, “underscores the growing role that wearables and Fitbit devices play in the management of chronic conditions,” he said. 

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