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Fitbit acquires Twine Health ?3


Fitbit has issued a press release stated that is has acquired Twine Health.  No financial details were disclosed, but they will matter, to me at least.  Twine has received $9.8M of venture funding to date, according to Crunchbase, and the deal is expect to close this quarter.  That means that a good guess on figures should be doable by the first quarter earnings report in early May.  Twine's CEO, Dr. John Moore, will serve as Fitbit's Medical director.

The move to buy a HIPAA-compliant platform signals that Fitbit is serious about moving into health partnerships, but what's unclear is how much that is being motivated by competition in the consumer fitness market.  The profitability of any endeavor in the broken American health care system is equally questionable to my mind, as evidenced by Twine's experience to date.  To quote one analyst from that article:

Absent a shift to value-based care there are actually disincentives.  It’s still easier to present a short-term solution at the point of care rather than put the patient into a situation where there’s more ongoing longitudinal coordination.
However, that changes somewhat when you shift the context to an employee population.  The recent announcement by Amazon, JP Morgan, and Berkshire Hathaway is an indication of this.  Sadly, that makes it look like America is moving ever more towards bifurcation of haves and have-nots, which will ultimately empower the largest corporations, much as has happened in Korea, with the chaebols.  Fitbit may benefit from that eventually, but it's looking like a long and dangerous transition.