Citizens of Singapore have been given a new incentive to stay active: a free Fitbit.
Singapore’s government has partnered with the company, and promised a free Fitbit to any citizen who wants one. Fitbits monitor steps taken, sleep quality, heart rate, and other areas of health. Despite various reports that Singapore’s government is buying the Fitbits, The Straits Times has clarified that it is in fact Fitbit that will be giving them away — with a catch.
Although the Fitbit itself will come with no cost, according to CNBC, the users will still have to subscribe to Fitbit’s premium coaching service for $10 a month for a minimum of one year. They will also require the users to agree to share the personal data collected on the Fitbit with Singapore’s Health Promotion Board.
“We intend to work with industry innovators, such as Fitbit, on additional efforts to use technology to provide Singaporeans with personalized health advice and nudges, so that they can take control of their own health,” Zee Yoong Kang, CEO of the country’s Health Promotion Board, said in a statement.
The data, they say, will be used to not only improve and mold health programs moving forward but will also “enrich” the Board’s promotions, according to a statement from Singapore’s Promotion Health Board.
[Check out one of our favorite activity trackers, WHOOP]
The program is optional: Singaporeans don’t have to take the Fitbit if they don’t want to, but if they do, they’ll pay the $10 per month and share their data. Fitbit’s CEO told CNBC that he’s hoping that one million people will take them up on their offer. (Singapore’s total population is about 5.6 million.)
This program is set to take off in October, but the news has already caused a stir in responses on the internet with many people expressing privacy concerns around the partnership.
While we don’t know yet how many people have enrolled in this program, it will be interesting to see how this plays out as a health solutions product and partnership. Yahoo Finance covered the deal and made a point that if this program does improve the health of Singaporean people, and saves money, this could trickle over to the neighboring Asian countries as a model program.
Featured image @fitbit Instagram page.