Fitbit partners with DexCom, leading shares to rocket
Healthcare is providing a large number of opportunities for businesses, providing the potential to move into new markets. Whilst renowned as a fitness tracking company, Fitbit is gaining ground by focusing more on new and upcoming healthcare technologies, leading to its new partnership with diabetes-tracking company DexCom.
Since the news broke, Fitbit’s shares have sharply risen up to 11%, Techcrunch has reported. Dexcom has a significant market share, where Fitbit’s watches will become fully integrated with the company’s healthcare technologies. Such examples are glucose monitoring sensors, which will enable users to track their blood sugar levels and maintain a high quality of life whilst remaining on the move through Fitbit’s products.
To use the technology, users will have a small sensor placed under their skin in order for the technology to be 100% accurate in monitoring glucose, and provide vital statistics surrounding users heart rate and blood oxygen levels. However, it will require users to link one of Dexcom’s devices to the Fitbit app, proving beneficial for both parties.
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The Ionic Smartwatch will be one of the first watches by Fitbit to adopt this technology, which is set for release in 2018. The technology will therefore open up the possibility to attract a further 320 million people who are living with diabetes globally – figures which are predicted to double in the next 20 years.
However, the move will also see Fitbit go up against companies such as Apple, who have been increasingly adopting health technologies within its products and embedding them within its Apple Watch. Nonetheless, many saw the direction in which Fitbit continues to head, with the previous collaboration with United Healthcare.
"With Ionic, we are focused on driving positive health outcomes and more health focused tools, and this collaboration is a wonderful example of how we plan to bring that vision to our users," commented Fitbit CEO James Park.
Still, whilst the company’s shares have risen, the news has been met with a mixed reaction. Many are not convinced Fitbit will gain as much traction as Apple, who have received worldwide praise for their continuous focus on new and upcoming technologies.
Although the tech giant has recently partnered with Aetna in order to support the company’s 20+ million members, Fitbit has also undertaken deals such as this in the past with UnitedHealthcare.
Peloton vulnerable to cyber attacks, McAfee research finds
Peloton, the popular exercise bikes, were found to be vulnerable to cyber attacks in the latest research from McAfee.
Peloton is a brand of electric bikes that combines high end exercise equipment with cutting-edge technology. Its products use wi fi to connect to a large tablet that interfaces with the components of the exercise device, and provides an easy way for physical activity enthusiasts to attend virtual workout classes over the internet several times a week.
Peloton has garnered attention recently around the privacy and security of its products. So McAfee decided to take a look for themselves and purchased a Peloton Bike+.
Researchers looked at the Android devices and uncovered a vulnerability that could allow an attacker with either physical access to the Bike+ or access during any point in the supply chain to gain to hack into the bike’s tablet, including the camera, microphone and personal data.
For the person using it there would be no indication the Bike+ has been tampered with, potentially putting Peloton’s 16.7 million users at risk.
The flaw was found in the Android Verified Boot (AVB) process. McAfee researchers were able to bypass the Android Verified Boot process, which normally verifies all code and data before booting. They were then able to get the device to boot bypassing this step.
This could potentially lead to the Android OS being compromised by an attacker who is physically present. Even worse, the attacker could boot up the Peloton with a modified credential to gain privileges, granting them access to the bike remotely.
As the attacker never has to unlock the device to boot it up, there would be no trace of their access on the device. This type of attack could also happen at any point from construction to warehouse to delivery, by installing a backdoor into the Android tablet without the user ever knowing.
Given the simplicity and criticality of the flaw, McAfee informed Peloton while auditing was ongoing. The vendor was sent full details, and shortly after, Peloton confirmed the issue and released a fix for it.
Further conversations between McAfee and Peloton confirmed that this vulnerability had also been present on the Peloton Tread exercise equipment.
Peloton’s Head of Global Information Security Adrian Stone, commented on the research: “This vulnerability reported by McAfee would require direct, physical access to a Peloton Bike+ or Tread. Like with any connected device in the home, if an attacker is able to gain physical access to it, additional physical controls and safeguards become increasingly important.
"To keep our members safe, we acted quickly and in coordination with McAfee. We pushed a mandatory update in early June and every device with the update installed is protected from this issue.”