Humana offers members access to Fitbit's new digital coaching platform

Fitbit Charge 3, wearable, fitness, health
This is the latest in Fitbit and Humana's longtime partnership, which began in 2013. (Sensors Magazine)

Humana is giving its employer group segment access to a brand-new digital coaching tool from Fitbit called Fitbit Care, the insurer announced on Wednesday.

Fitbit Care, which the wearables company unveiled on the same day, allows users to track health metrics like physical activity, sleep and heart rate, access guided workouts, communicate with other members and work toward health goals with a coach.

These tools allow Humana to “offer even more personalized, meaningful support to our members who are focused on specific health goals, such as smoking cessation or weight loss, or the management or prevention of chronic conditions,” Jeff Reid, Humana’s senior vice president of Wellness Solutions, said in a statement.

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“Fitbit’s intuitive technology and human coaches are powerful tools to engage and motivate members, creating more frequent, convenient touch points that support our members beyond the walls of a doctor’s office,” he added.

RELATED: UnitedHealthcare taps wearables, individualized coaching to enhance diabetes management

Humana says five million of its members will be able to use Fitbit Care. However, a 2017 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found just 1.2% of people in Humana’s wellness program use a fitness tracker, though the majority of those members choose Fitbit over other brands.

Earlier this year, Fitbit acquired health coaching platform Twine Health. Twine Health contributed “clinically proven behavior change principles” to Fitbit Care’s development, according to the company.

Fitbit has been testing the waters of wellness programs for some time, despite research that shows such programs have a limited impact. The wearables company also has partnerships with Blue Cross Blue Shield and UnitedHealth, as well as with Google. Fitbit’s partnership with Humana began in 2013.

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