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Security & privacy

Your Fitbit data can now go directly to your doctor

Fitbits have evolved to be capable of doing many things, but at their core, they exist to improve our health. Whether it is by tracking steps, monitoring our heart rate, helping us to better understand our sleep or everything else, they do a good job of that.

But as technology continues to advance, the devices have evolved to be able to do far more than the original versions even dreamed capable. Depending on how much you want to spend and what you need, you could have many useful features on your wrist.

Continuing to try and push things forward, Fitbit made an announcement on Monday that shows it is still quite serious about its original goal. In this case, they are getting a bit of help.

It comes from the cloud

It makes sense, really, that Fitbit would take advantage of and use Google’s Cloud Healthcare API. Having been around for a couple of months now, Google’s Cloud Healthcare is meant to be a place where providers can easily and securely access information about you and your healthcare needs.

It’s a great concept. When looking to diagnose and treat a patient, doctors need as much information about their health as possible. Having it all be cloud-based will make it easier to get patients the care they need more quickly.

How Fitbit will be involved is that it plans on uploading information its devices record to the cloud. The deal between Google and Fitbit makes plenty of sense, especially when you think of how the ventures share the same goal of improving public health.

With this arrangement, doctors will not only have medical records of you available, but information recorded by the Fitbit, too. It’s tough to imagine having better detail of things like your sleep patterns and heart rate will not help.

Fitbit is not the first health-related company to partner with Google for its Cloud Healthcare API, which launched earlier this year. As for when this new feature will launch for Fitbit, that information has not yet been released.

Privacy concerns?

Google offers its Cloud Healthcare as a safe and secure storage place, but of course, these days it is tough to trust that it will always remain that way. In this case, it would be understandable if some have reservations about all this information being available in a kind of one-stop-shop for doctors.

However, even without Google’s Cloud hospitals and doctors have long used computers to store data. In this case, the only change is that everyone could upload the information in one singe place.

As Google put it in a blog post talking about the platform, “Ultimately, we hope that better flow of data will inspire new discoveries with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), leading to insights that improve patient outcomes.”

A big part of being healthy is sleep

Hitting the hay earlier would help, sure, but with our busy lives that’s easier said than done. And while sleeping in would be wonderful, life kind of gets in the way of that, too. That’s why we must make every opportunity to catch some zzz’s. One way to make sure that happens is by using a sleep app.

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