Fitbit Inc., San Francisco, will acquire Twine Health, a health coaching platform, the company announced. The price of the acquisition, which is expected to close this quarter, was not disclosed.
Fitbit already offers health coaching with its FitCoach app, but with this acquisition, Fitbit said it could expand into new condition areas when it offers the Twine platform to its more than 25 million users. Twine Health also further extends Fitbit's reach into healthcare and lays the foundation to expand its offerings to health plans, health systems and self-insured employers while creating opportunities to increase subscription-based revenue, according to the company.
Twine Health, a HIPAA-compliant connected health platform, helps people manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, and aid in lifestyle interventions, such as weight loss and smoking cessation, by making it easy for providers, coaches, friends and family to collaborate on care plans. The Twine Health platform allows a single coach to work with a large number of patients.
“Twine Health has delivered powerful results for patients managing conditions like diabetes and hypertension – two key focus areas for Fitbit, which together affect approximately 105 million people in the U.S. alone,” James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit, said in the release. “When combined with our decade-plus of experience empowering millions of consumers to take control of their health and wellness, 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.”
Twine Health was founded in 2013 by Dr. John Moore, Frank Moss and Scott Gilroy. The company developed its approach based on years of behavior change and clinical research done at the MIT Media Lab. It uses a combination of artificial intelligence-driven insights and human interaction to generate health outcomes, automating parts of the coaching process and freeing up time for more personalized care, according to the company.
Randomized controlled trials found that the foundational behavior change principles behind Twine Health’s technology helped drive statistically significant improvements in both diabetes and hypertension management, according to the release. For example, patients at the Joslin Diabetes Center saw an average 3.2 drop in HbA1c after three months, and patients in Massachusetts General Hospital’s hypertension intervention saw an average 26mmHg drop in blood pressure after three months.
“We built Twine Health with the goal of putting people back at the center of their care, helping them take ownership of their health actions and outcomes with the continuous support of both clinicians and loved ones," said Moore, who is Twine Health’s CEO. “Technology has a profound opportunity to facilitate this shift in behavior and give people the coaching they need to overcome the challenges that arise in daily life. That potential becomes even more compelling when combined with Fitbit, whose brand and ability to engage and motivate a diverse range of consumers is incredibly powerful. Together, we can build a complete experience to optimize health at scale, across the full spectrum from prevention to disease management.”
As part of the acquisition, the Twine Health team will join Fitbit as part of its Health Solutions group. Moore will serve as Fitbit’s medical director.
Fitbit, which is a public company, is expected to release its 2017 and fourth quarter 2017 financials on Feb. 26.