This morning Fitbit became the latest tech giant to unveil a new coronavirus feature. Users of the Fitbit app will now be able to use the new feature to connect with a doctor virtually and access information on exercising indoors.
The new feature, which is live today, will be a new tab at the bottom of the app labelled COVID-19, and include the latest updates from the World Health Organization.
Virtual care visits are conducted through membership telemedicine-service PlushCare. Users can access the services and schedule an appointment through the Fitbit app’s new feature. The services work with “most major insurers,” but if a user doesn’t have insurance, the visit is $99 and the monthly membership fee.
The company also noted that it plans to use aggregated data to gain insights about how the coronavirus is impacting users’ sleep and activity levels.
WHY IT MATTERS
According to WHO there are 1,773,084 confirmed coronavirus cases in the world. This has led to a slew of stay at home orders from many governments. As gyms and sports facilities continue to close, people are looking for digital ways to work out. This has created an opportunity for fitness-focused digital health companies.
THE LARGER TREND
Fitbit was in the news in November when Google announced its plans to acquire the wearable giant for roughly $2.1 billion. However, the deal has still not closed, though it’s unclear whether or not it's the COVID-19 pandemic or the deal's examination by the Department of Justice that is holding it up. Nevertheless, Fitbit has continued to roll out new products in the meantime.
At the end of March, it released its new fitness-tracker lineup, the Fitbit Charge 4 and new fitness-centered features. The Charge 4 includes GPS functions, an Sp02 sensor and heart-rate activity tracking.