March 14, 2018 Source: MobiHealthNews 135
Come this spring adults won’t be the only ones with their own line of Fitbit trackers. The company recently announced a new set of products including the Fitbit Ace, which is a tracker designed for children 8 years old and up, as well a much anticipated new smartwatch, the Fitbit Versa.
“As childhood obesity rates continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to empower the entire family to embrace a healthy and more active lifestyle,” James Park, CEO and cofounder of Fitbit, said in a statement. “It can be hard to start and stick to good habits, and we know from our community that network effects are key to getting and keeping people motivated. By bringing that experience to families, it can make healthier habits feel more achievable by making it fun and engaging. We are excited by the opportunity to enable parents to help set their kids on a path to building lifelong, healthy habits all while having fun together.”
The Fibit Ace will track steps, sleep, activity minutes, and can connect to a smartphone. It also comes with an adjustable, showerproof wristband in two bright colors. The Ace encourages kids to stay active by giving them a buzz on their wrist, which reminds them to walk 250 steps each hour. The tracker also gives kids feedback with celebratory messages and collectable badges.
Kids can also participate in daily challenges against family members or friends using the device.
Parents will be able to view and manage their child’s tracker. It will also let parents approve any friend requests their child has on the Fitbit app.
This isn’t the first wearable that is designed for kids. Notably Garmin launched their vivofit jr.2, a wearable activity trackers in the fall. Their wearable features Minnie Mouse, Captain America and other Disney licensed characters. Like the Fitbit Ace, it has a waterproof design and can connect to smartphones.
In addition to the Fitbit Ace, the company revealed its Fitbit Versa, a smartwatch made of light metal which can track heart rate and sleep. The latest smartwatch allows users to see their daily and weekly health, fitness statistics, historical activity, heart rate, and exercise summaries. The device also gives users motivational messages and daily guidances.
The Versa comes after Fitbit's last smart watch, the Ionic, which was met with mixed reviews, with some saying that the design was unattractive.
"As the wearables category continues to grow, Fitbit Versa fills a critical need in the market by delivering a beautifully designed, full-featured smartwatch that is easy to use at a very competitive price,” Park said in a statement. “Versa brings consumers the advanced health and fitness features Fitbit is known for, along with broad compatibility across mobile platforms and 4+ days battery life to provide users with a better picture of their overall health, making it stand out from any smartwatch available today."
The Versa will also track the user's heart rate and sleep. Customers can use the device to track swimming. The wearable includes a Sp02 sensor with the potential to track health indicators, such as sleep apnea in the future.
There was some indication that Fitbit might be interested in tracking conditions like sleep apnea during their fourth quarter earnings call.
“On the healthcare side, I think some of the milestones you can look for is we will be gradually expanding the scope of the diabetes program that we have with UnitedHealthcare and Dexcom so there will be more and more users being added to that,” Park said in the call. “Twine is going to be integrated and sold immediately to our existing employer base and then we'll see some milestones on the FDA side as well as we start to work through more details of the Pre-Cert program. And that's going to enable us to launch more advanced detection features such as apnea and afib detection earlier and hopefully commercialize it.”
In addition to the two new wearables, the company announced that it would be launching a new health platform for women to track their period cycles.By Ddu
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