With its brilliant name and marketing campaign, Fitbit has become synonymous with activity/fitness tracker. It’s fun to say the word “Fitbit,” and it combines two rhyming, mono-syllabic words that capture the essence of an activity tracker. Fit for fitness. Bit for technology.
However, the past year has introduced an onslaught of alternative fitness trackers that are cheaper, offer better iPhone integration, and are arguably better. Most are not worth noting, but some brilliant products might not get the credit and attention they deserve because their name isn’t as fun to say, or because they came into the fitness ecosystem late.
What’s wrong with Fitbit?
There’s nothing terribly wrong with Fitbit — yet (I’ll explain the “yet” part later). I’ve owned many Fitbit products and still recommend them without hesitation. We’ve reviewed several of them on iMedicalApps in the past as well (Force Review, Ultra Review). It’s the most popular fitness tracker within my social circles, and for good reason.
However, Fitbit’s instant name recognition doesn’t mean that they offer the best product for every type of consumer, or for the most reasonable price. In addition to a discounted MSRP, alternative trackers often are cheaper on resale sites like Craigslist or eBay.
While Fitbit has solid third party support, they don’t support certain products/services that can synchronize with Jawbone or Misfit.
Possibly the biggest reason to pass on a Fitbit is their stated plans to not support Apple’s HealthKit, at least for now.
This is a big deal because Apple’s Healthkit platform already integrates with Epic Systems — the electronic medical record that covers more than 51% of the patient population in the United States. Millions of patients already use Epic’s MyChart to see their medical results from their physicians, and physicians are starting to utilize Epic’s MyChart app to see how active their patients are. Since Fitbit doesn’t sync with Apple’s Healthkit, in the future, your physician won’t be able to see your fitness results in your electronic medical record if you are using Fitbit products.