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Google’s newly-finalized purchase of Fitbit is poised to provide the tech giant with a potentially lucrative toehold into two competitive markets: clinical trials and employer benefits.

The $2.1 billion buy-out could give Google an edge in the race to court employers and health plans as companies seek to boost staff benefits amid the pandemic, industry observers told STAT. The acquisition also sets Google up to more closely compete with Apple in the clinical trial space using Fitbit’s devices, enabling the combined company to expand its existing research on cardiovascular, sleep, and respiratory health into new areas.

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