Fitbit and Microsoft services and products haven't always gotten along and had a kosher relationship, but that's to be expected when you're dealing with a hardware product from one company and a service from another company. Fortunately, Microsoft HealthVault was a service that was approved by Fitbit -- though no, unfortunately, the kosher relationship with the service is coming to an end.
Have you heard of Microsoft Vault? It's a cloud database that stores users' health information from a wearable so as to allow them to share their medical data with a doctor or even online parties if they need to. Fitbit once supported this feature with its fitness bands, but the company is giving the cloud database support the axe officially on September 12th. The company has issued an official statement on the matter:
We strive to channel our energy and resources into creating the most value for our customers. After careful consideration, Fitbit will no longer be supporting API integration with Microsoft HealthVault, an application that allows users to store and share their health data with health professionals. We remain committed to the promise of digital health and our mission to help people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration, and guidance to reach their goals. We're always looking for new ways to support our users' health and fitness goals, and we encourage customers to visit fitbit.com/partnership for other available integrations.
Fitbit's decision to cancel the service will go practically unnoticed, particularly because of the fact that few people used HealthVault. I don't know of anyone owning a Fitbit fitness band that ever used or knew about it, and I think this could be avoided if consumers were educated about the service and its importance. Fitbit has made inroads in the consumer market for offering affordable fitness bands that track and monitor health data, but, as with anything, consumers need information -- they need to be informed that these services exist. It's sad that many services get mentioned only when they're getting axed, not when they first arrive.
In any case, if you've been excited about HealthVault, this won't be good news, but companies make decisions like this all the time: they axe services that aren't used and grow those that are.
Have you been using Microsoft HealthVault? Just learning about it from this article? Think Fitbit should've done a better job to educate users and the market?