[Update at bottom of post]
This is a new one on me. I follow the “quantified self” market fairly regularly, but it’s the first time I’ve seen activity tracking devices and services being pitched directly to employers.
The idea: As an employer, you want to encourage healthier behaviors, in order to drop your insurance costs. With Fitbug, now your company can hook up with them to provide units to staff and track progress individually and as a group.
The site offers relatively little information and no real studies of effectiveness. But it’s an intriguing idea — one that’s likely to gain traction in the next few years as devices get cheaper and employers (and health insurance carriers) get employees and customers more engaged in health management and promoting healthy behaviors.
New Fitbug Gear
Meanwhile, Fitbug is introducing a bunch of new gear, including the Fitbug Orb, a low-cost ($50) Bluetooth-connected activity tracker (that’s not currently shown on their own web site). They also have a new wireless weight scale (the Fitbug Wow) for $80 and a blood pressure tracker (the Fitbug Luv). None of the new gear is shipping yet, but should all be on the market before summer.
While Fitbug has one of the most in-your-face pitches to corporate health device buyers, they’re not the only ones talking to this market. Waaaaaayyy at the bottom of the Fitbit site is a link called Corporate Wellness that takes you to a page pitching the same concept: buy tons of our devices for employees and use them to promote wellness / drive down insurance costs. Sorry I failed to notice that one! If you have other examples from device makers, please let me know.