Fitbit Premium will start in Japan

According to Bloomberg, Fitbit announced that JMDC will be the exclusive distributor of Fitbit Premium, Fitbit’s paid membership service, for enterprise customers in Japan in November 2020.

What is Fitbit Premium?

Based on its homepage, Fitbit Premium is explained as follows.

Fitbit Premium is your personalized resource in the Fitbit app that helps you stay active, sleep well, manage stress, and more.

  • Learn how to improve your nutrition, try new workout regimens, and more through programs tailored to your health and fitness goals.
  • Receive personalized insights, your sleep score breakdown, and a wellness report based on your Fitbit stats.
  • Invite friends to compete or work as a team in customizable challenges, such as Get Fit Bingo. Explore all Premium challenges and adventures in the Fitbit app.
  • Access hundreds of video and audio workouts from Fitbit and popular brands.
  • Practice guided meditations to help with relaxation, sleep, body positivity, and more. Tap the Discover tab -> Mindfulness to get started.
  • Better understand how your body handles stress with a daily score and a breakdown of what’s affecting it (Fitbit Sense only).

Who is JMDC?

Based on its homepage, the company profile of JMDC is described by its CEO’s message.

We want everyone to pursue their dreams, and live a rich and healthy life. We hope that we can give them more time to have dreams and be with the people special to them. We support advances in the fields of preventive and presymptomatic medicine, therapeutic medicine, and healthcare through the power of data and ICT.

By promoting health for everyone and making better healthcare a reality, we aim to stabilize national healthcare costs, and pass the baton to the next generation, as well as to the generation that follows them. To the partners who work with us and contribute toward our shared goals, we promise to achieve this growth and this dream, and we will create a company that our employees and their families can be truly proud of.

The announcement makes sense in healthcare industry

As we know, Japan is the advanced country, but the country faces the challenges of the aged society. For example, the average life expectancy of Japanese women and men is 87 years old and 81 years old respectively. Adding to this, the ratio of people who are more than 65 years old accounts for about 28% of total Japanese population. Therefore, to improve quality of life and to keep healthy life are critical issues in Japan. This is because if Japanese people ignore these challenges, they cannot avoid the problems such as decreasing working population and increasing the welfare cost.

In this sense, the announcement between Fitbit and JFMC is really understandable since nowadays Japanese companies have been under pressure to take care of their employee’s health. Many companies think of employees as important assets and try to sustain their better performance. As a result, companies found that our health is the very base of our performance and have taken new initiatives to enhance it. The announcement is THE example for this.

At the same time, digital technologies contribute to the improvement of our health. This is because they enable us to record the data related to our health such as our sleep and diet, to connect to each data or to compare one person’s data to others’, and finally to analyze the data for all process. It means that the machine human interface and connectivity are indispensable concepts and Fitbit actually makes use of them. However, good services or products do not equal to the best sellers. Sales channel is also a key success factor and more crucial when companies consider global expansion. The announcement realize this purpose as well.

If we can consider this trend unavoidable, more Healthcare-as-a-Service (HaaS) companies will try to take advantage of the opportunities in Japan so that HasS could be more popular.