Fitbit beats Apple: Company lands deal to supply trackers for Singapore's health programme

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Fitbit has edged out Apple and won the bid to provide free trackers to Singapore’s citizens. The company has stated that it will be coordinating with Singapore’s Health Promotion Board to run a public health initiative in which it will provide Singaporeans with a free Fitbit Inspire band if they agree to pay $10 a month for the company’s premium coaching service.

“We intend to work with industry innovators, such as Fitbit, on additional efforts to use technology to provide Singaporeans with personalized health advice and nudges, so that they can take control of their own health. Participants of this program will benefit from Fitbit’s plans to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning to encourage physical activity, healthy eating, and better sleep quality. The insights gathered can also help to enrich HPB’s health promotion programs,” Zee Yoong Kang, CEO, Health Promotion Board, stated in an official press release.

While the band is not actually being provided for free, it is being provided, basically on easy installments of $10, instead of the one-time payment of $99.95. In fact, users will not only have to pay more, they will also be tied to a subscription-based model of Fitbit’s coaching service.

The deal is expected to provide Fitbit millions in revenue as its CEO James Park told CNBC. He added that he believed that the program can reach at least one million people out of the city-state’s 5.6 million people.

If it is successful, it will provide a chunk of health data both to Fitbit and the government. While the government can use the data to form its health policy, Fitbit can use it to improve its offerings. Tying in with the company’s coaching program will give users access to guidance and even one-on-one health advisory according to their specific needs.

It will also provide Fitbit an avenue to provide services instead of just depending on selling its hardware to generate revenue.

Park calls it an indication that the company is working towards transforming its business model.


Fitbit official logo. Credit: Fitbit.com/official