FitLinxx bouyed by growing employer market, inks deal with Biggest Loser Australia

By Aditi Pai
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PebbleWhile it didn't release any specific financial details, b2b activity tracker company FitLinxx recently announced it saw a 55 percent increase in revenues year-over-year. FitLinxx cited increased demand for its trackers in corporate wellness programs as well as the company's expansion into consumer, health plan, and health care provider markets in the US and UK.

"The corporate wellness space is really starting to mature," FitLinxx CEO Dave Monahan told MobiHealthNews. "We're seeing larger deployments in the corporate space and the reason it's maturing is it's getting more integrated with healthcare. We're seeing a lot more tie-ins where a wellness program is integrated with a healthcare plan and employees are getting incentives to get engaged in the wellness program using our devices as a key engagement tool."

FitLinxx offers an activity tracker, Pebble, which is sold to fitness centers, such as the YMCA, employee wellness programs, payors, and healthcare providers. The company's customer list at the end of 2013 included SparkPeople, Alere, Cerner, ShapeUp, Welltok, MeYou Health, and UK-based Nuffield Health.

MobiHealthNews wrote about FitLinxx's partnership with Alere last month, when Alere received FDA clearance for Alere Connect's (formerly MedApps) new home health hub, HomeLink, which has a FitLinxx receiver in it.

Alere is also rebranding and selling Pebble into corporate and consumer markets. The company recently launched a program with the Biggest Loser, a TV show focused on weight loss, in Australia.

"Basically you can buy the Pebble under the Alere brand as part of the Biggest Loser Australia program and what Biggest Loser Australia has done is they don't just have contestants on the TV show, but they also engage the whole town [where the show was being filmed] in health," Monahan said.

People in the town, which is called Ararat, use what Alere is calling the Alere Pebble and an application called MyAlere. The initiative in Ararat began prior to the show's launch and at some point the Biggest Loser will release data showing how the town did when they used Pebble to stay active.

FitLinxx also partnered with SparkPeople in October 2013, to provide a branded version of the company's Pebble activity tracker for users of SparkPeople's website. This was FitLinxx's first venture working with a direct to consumer wellness company.

"We fully integrate with our partners so that when you engage with a program it's about our partner -- it's about Alere, it's about Sparkpeople. You won't see the FitLinxx brand," Monahan said. "We won't get in the way. When you sign up for a SparkPeople account, an application, you're signing up with them. You get a username and a password from them. You don't need to sign up with FitLinxx. You don't need to try to connect our application and manage that connection."

Monahan argued that this is the kind of system the masses will use, if they want to buy an activity tracker because they will want a streamlined experience that doesn't make the user sign into multiple accounts to sync devices and get data. FitLinxx not only disappears as a brand when it's in the user's hands, Monahan also believes the device should be discrete when users are wearing it.

"We see healthcare taking this market and driving it into the mainstream and so we're working closely with healthcare providers at this point and understanding what they're going to need to support their use cases," Monahan said. "Just as an example, sort of a foreshadowing, we're working with a very large healthcare provider right now who serves over a million patients a year and they are working on prescribing activity as part of their regimen within their clinician workflow. That's where we see the mainstream coming from and where it's going to be."

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