TechCrunch reported that Fitbit is evaluating a purchase of FitStar for upwards of $25 to $40 million in a mix of cash and stock. Since FitStar makes apps that help consumers to actually be more active, this unique merger of two consumer-centric wellness companies “makes sense as the activity tracker market matures and more consumers are looking for practical applications that could help them get fit. That is, now that they have they data, what can they actually do with it?” It will also create challenges for emerging activity trackers, such as Jawbone UP, Misfit, and Withings, as they too will need to deliver services that go beyond data tracking and into behavior change and outcomes.
All this is good news for consumers and organizers of employer and community wellness programs. Like consumers, organized wellness programs will be the beneficiaries of activity trackers looking to go beyond data collection. The best way for wellness programs to capture this value is to leverage the consumer wellness market in their programming. That is, by allowing wellness program participants to utilize one of the many consumer wellness technologies that are working hard to produce meaningful outcomes, wellness coordinators will be able to deliver better results, improve adherence, and lower costs.
Wellable is focused on allowing wellness programs to leverage current and future consumer wellness trends and offerings within group-based wellness initiatives. This is why we embrace a bring your own device (BYOD) wellness strategy. It allows wellness programs to access the consumer wellness ecosystem and promote consumer choice to achieve their wellness goals. Rather than using rigid enterprise wellness systems, such as proprietary pedometers and mobile apps, a BYOD wellness strategy is built upon a highly competitive consumer movement that is heavily investing in results. Activity trackers and wellness mobile apps are constantly building upon themselves and improving their offerings. Consumers are benefitting from this trend and so should organized wellness programs.