Ben Sommers Discusses Fitbit Group Health's Focus

Fitbit Group Health focuses on four areas: corporate wellness, research, insurer programs, and health management, said Ben Sommers, MBA, vice president of North America Business Development at Fitbit Wellness.

Fitbit Group Health focuses on four areas: corporate wellness, research, insurer programs, and health management, said Ben Sommers, MBA, vice president of North America Business Development at Fitbit Wellness.

Transcript (slightly modified)

Can you provide an overview of Fitbit Group Health?

The Group Health team really has 4 areas of focus. The first is on the area of corporate wellness. We’ve actually been working for many years now in this space, and have successful projects launched with over 70 of the Fortune 500 companies today in the enterprise space. These are organizations that are really focused on investing in Fitbit technology, both our hardware and our software, as part of broader wellness strategies or objectives that they’re looking to roll out to their employees, and in many cases, their employees’ families.

Bucket number two is our focus on research. We’ve actually launched over a hundred trials with academic institutions, clinicians, hospitals. Really focused on many different areas of how Fitbit technology can be a part of an effective clinical treatment program for specific conditions. The best example in this space is actually work we’ve just announced with the Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute. What they’re doing is actually a longitudinal study of over 3000 folks, where the hypothesis is that if we can help them on a program that includes weight loss, that might actually reduce the incidence or recurrence of breast cancer. So that’s an exciting study that’s under way in the research sector.

We also do quite a bit of work with insurers. So some great examples of programs in that space are around weight management, asthma, diabetes, and with one specific program that we’ve launched with one of the largest health plans in the United States, we actually saw 92% of the population say that this was an effective program and would recommend it, and of those that participated in this weight loss program that included Fitbit technology as part of the experience, roughly 5% was the average weight loss per person.

The last group that we’re focused on is what we call health management. And this is an area where we’ve had a lot of interest over the last few years in expanding what we’re doing in this space. Probably one of the best examples of a partner that we’re working with in the space of health management is Weight Watchers, where they’ve actually incorporated Fitbit technology into the programs that they then offer to participants. They actually have the ability to earn what they call Fit Points through the use of the Fitbit technology and they can apply that towards their experience in the program.