Ben Sommers Addresses Fitbit Privacy Concerns About Patient Data

Fitbit understands the importance of user privacy and only provides data in aggregate to program administrators, said Ben Sommers, MBA, vice president of North America Business Development at Fitbit Wellness.

Fitbit understands the importance of user privacy and only provides data in aggregate to program administrators, said Ben Sommers, MBA, vice president of North America Business Development at Fitbit Wellness.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How does mHealth impact privacy and the way patient-specific data is tracked?

Privacy is really paramount to Fitbit as an organization, very hyper-focused on making sure that our individuals’ data stays protected, no matter where it might reside. Whether it’s in the application, within a browser, we want to make sure that, again, we’re only exposing the correct and appropriate data to who has the rights to view it.

In an administrative setting, it’s worth noting that we only provide program administrators with the minimum information that’s required to administer their program effectively. So as an individual user within your own experience you may be able to see things like your weight, your sleep last night, your heart rate information, but for administrators of the program, that information is not shared. We will only share things such as steps, active minutes, and even something like sleep is only shared in aggregate.

So for some employers and organizations, it’s actually quite important to get a better understanding of, how is our group doing when it comes to getting a good night’s rest? For folks like first responders and armed forces, it ratchets it up even another notch in terms of importance, and so we will provide that, again, at an aggregate level, so that folks can take steps to provide guidance around, at least as a group or as a population, how can we get a better night’s rest?