Fitbit embarks on first national health program as it tests new premium service

It's going to give Fitbit and Singapore a hell of a lot of data
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Fitbit is to launch a nationwide health program in Singapore, a joint project with the country's Health Promotion Board that will get participants using Fitbit wearables and in turn provide data on population health.

The program, titled Live Healthy SG, is aiming to get one million members signed up and using Fitbit devices. Participants will need to enrol for the program, which will involve committing to a year of Fitbit's new Premium service, for which they'll be handed a free Fitbit Inspire HR. They'll also need to agree to have their data shared.

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This is the first time Fitbit has done something like this on a national scale. It also marks the first outing for Fitbit Premium, the company's new paid-for health service, which is set to get a wider rollout later this autumn.

Participants will be put on a program within Fitbit Premium to encourage them to "adopt healthier habits and achieve better outcomes in the areas of physical activity, sleep, nutrition and emotional wellbeing," according to Fitbit, but the specifics of how Premium will look and what it will offer remain under wraps.

There's benefit for both sides in this program. While Fitbit gets to suck up data at a population level, that information will also provide the Singapore government with information on the health of its citizens. It's part of a larger effort by Singapore called Smart Nation, which is using technology to improve various societal sectors, healthcare being a big one.

Singapore's health board has highlighted hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cancer as three chronic conditions on the rise, and which it hopes to target with the new program.

"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," said Zee Yoong Kang, CEO of the Health Promotion Board. "The insights gathered can also help to enrich HPB’s health promotion programs."

Singaporeans can pre-register for the new Fitbit initiative from mid-September, and it will go officially live in late October, Fitbit says.

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Hugh Langley


Now at Business Insider, Hugh originally joined Wareable from TechRadar where he’d been writing news, features, reviews and just about everything else you can think of for three years.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider.

Prior to Wareable, Hugh freelanced while studying, writing about bad indie bands and slightly better movies. He found his way into tech journalism at the beginning of the wearables boom, when everyone was talking about Google Glass and the Oculus Rift was merely a Kickstarter campaign - and has been fascinated ever since.

He’s particularly interested in VR and any fitness tech that will help him (eventually) get back into shape. Hugh has also written for T3, Wired, Total Film, Little White Lies and China Daily.

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