Wearable health technologies, like the Fitbit Flex, empower consumers to take charge of their health. With this technology’s increasingly sleek and discreet designs, health monitoring can be seamlessly woven into the user’s lifestyle. At any point in the day, consumers can check out their aggregated health data using their smartphones and make decisions on what foods they need to eat or how many more steps they should take (literally) in order to meet their health goals.
Fitbit’s past and present
Fitbit was founded in 2007, by James Park and Eric Friedman. Although they didn’t expect to sell more than 50 pre-orders for their initial launch, after presenting their basic prototype at the TechCrunch 50 conference in 2008, they received 2,000 pre-orders. After a long struggle with manufacturing the first Fitbit, they finally launched at the end of 2009. At that point, the company had over 25,000 orders for their product.
Fitbit has several competitors, including Jawbone and the Fuelband by Nike, but it still dominates the market. NDP Group reported that 77% of the full-body activity tracker market belongs to Fitbit. And more people than ever are becoming aware of the brand. Fitbit and Jawbone are the most recognized wearable fitness trackers, according to NDP Group, and among those who’ve heard of the devices, about 28 percent say they are likely to buy one.
So, what exactly does the device do?
The Fitbit is either discreetly pinned onto the user’s clothing or worn around the wrist, like the Fitbit Flex, and it tracks its user’s movements (both steps taken and elevation traversed), calorie intake, and sleep patterns. Some Fitbit products also track weight and body mass index. All of this information is wirelessly uploaded into a smartphone or computer via the Fitbit app, which analyzes the data and presents it to the user in easy-to-read graphs and charts.
Fitbit’s efficacy and quality
Fitbit’s data shows that its users take 43% more steps with their products, and various testimonials corroborate that the Fitbit motivated them to meet or exceed their fitness goals. Many cite the “gamification” of the tool, or the ability to interact with Fitbit as a challenging game, as the source of their motivation. Others found that they even began to bond with their Fitbit because it personally greeted them, motivated them, and kept them on track towards their goals every day. Some said that the merely wear the device increased their awareness, which lead to healthier habits.
In addition to its health benefits, Fitbit created a durable product that is both beautiful and comfortable to wear. Users have reported dropping their Fitbit Flex or even running them in the laundry without damaging the product. Aside from the Fitbit Flex wristband’s initial stiffness, the product is easy to wear because it’s light, smooth, and relatively flat against the skin. Fitbit’s products are also customizable, in the sense that they come in a wide variety of colors.
With the increasing convenience, effectiveness, and popularity of wearable health technology, it’s inevitable that most people will wear some type of health tracking device at some point in their life to manage chronic disease or illness. But Fitbit’s brand of wearable health technology is all about taking ownership of your personal health before disease or illness become an issue – which despite the cost of a Fitbit is a good deal. If you’re interested in actively participating in your health management, data and experience show that the Fitbit is a reliable way to successfully do so.