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Fitbit's latest acquisition could help you manage health conditions

Twine Health could turn your activity tracker into a medical coach.
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Engadget / Cherlynn Low

Fitbit is very familiar with the health care world, and its latest acquisition drives that point home. The company has bought Twine Health, whose centerpiece is a health coaching platform that helps you manage chronic conditions (such as diabetes and hypertension) and complete "lifestyle interventions" like weight loss or quitting smoking. The move will help Fitbit offer its wares to health plans and self-insured companies -- and, to no one's surprise, gives it a chance to make more money from subscriptions.

The deal should wrap before the end of March.

While Fitbit isn't more specific about what it would like to do, it's not hard to see where the company is going. Its Ionic smartwatch can already talk to glucose monitors, and heart rate tracking has been a staple of its activity trackers for years. Health care and insurance providers could offer Fitbit devices to help you meet your goals without as many doctor's appointments or sky-high insurance premiums.

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