A collection of Fitbit Ionic smartwatches. (Photo: Fitbit)

Fitbit said Tuesday it is buying Twine Health, a small Boston-based startup that helps people manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

Why it matters: Fitbit has been increasingly focused on the health space as an avenue of growth, working to show its devices can monitor and improve health, not just count steps and track sleep.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter; financial terms weren't disclosed. Twine CEO John Moore will become Fitbit's medical director.

Fitbit has been pitching its devices to insurance providers and is looking to the Twine deal to make that case more compelling.

Our thought bubble: While fitness trackers and smartwatches have found a niche audience, true health applications could transform them from nice-to-have gadgets to a necessity. Fitbit, along with Apple and Samsung, have been working with the FDA to make it easier for health technologies to gain regulatory approval.

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Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 21,020,216 — Total deaths: 761,393— Total recoveries: 13,048,303Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,289,323 — Total deaths: 167,948 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health.
  4. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.

Facebook goes after Apple

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Facebook is seeking to force a face-off with Apple over its 30% in-app purchase commission fee, which Facebook suggests hurts small businesses struggling to get by during the pandemic.

The big picture: Facebook has never publicly gone after Apple, a key strategic partner, this aggressively. Both companies face antitrust scrutiny, which in Apple's case has centered on the very fee structure Facebook is now attacking.