Earn discounts with your favorite retailers from Bank of Fitness

Bank of Fitness (@bankoffitness) turns your workouts into discounts from your favorite retailers. Learn how and why Bank of Fitness chose to use the Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) to access out-of-gym workout data from RunKeeper (@runkeeper), opening up a new world of potential savings for exercising consumers.

Bill Day: Please tell us about yourself and Bank of Fitness.

Corey Draffen: I created Bank of Fitness (BoF) because of the severe lack of motivation there is for the average person to exercise and lead a healthier life.

Bank of Fitness is motivating the world to be healthier. We plan to keep people exercising by providing motivation through real-life rewards. Exercise at a gym or using a mobile fitness app and Bank of Fitness will automatically award you points redeemable for free items and valuable discounts at great retailers. The more you exercise, the more points you earn. The more points you earn, the more you save!

BD: What is the “elevator pitch” for why someone should use your app?

CD: Workout. Get Rewarded! It’s that simple.

BD: Can you tell us a bit about your users? What kinds of things do they do with Bank of Fitness?

CD: Our beta users have tracked more than 1500 workouts and redeemed rewards for Target gift cards, Visa gift cards, and some special discounts with retailers. We are in the process of partnering with gym management software companies to reward millions of users for going to the gym every day.

BD: How did you get started using the Health Graph API?

CD: We reviewed the Health Graph API documentation, then did a proof of concept to explore how an integration would work. We are excited to see it moving forward! BankOfFitness.com is now ready with end-to-end integration with RunKeeper.

BD: How is using the Health Graph benefiting your business?

CD: RunKeeper’s Health Graph keeps track of fitness activities for users. Fitness activity feeds enable us to reward RunKeeper users every time they workout.

BD: What do you like about the Health Graph platform? What would you like to see changed?

CD: We like how the platform keeps track of different type of activities; it’s not just limited to cardio exercise.

Having access to comprehensive API documentation that’s simple to understand has been really helpful, too. And when our QA team identified issues while integrating with the user registration process, the RunKeeper team was very responsive. We appreciate the quick turnaround.

BD: If you could request any new feature from the Health Graph, what would it be? How would you use it?

CD: Currently we have to ask users to register with BoF after RunKeeper Registration/Sign In. This is because the Health Graph API does not return user email addresses. This two-step registration process will likely increase the drop-out of first time users. If there were a way to get the email address of users who authorized RunKeeper access to BoF, it would be a very helpful feature.

BD: Can you share any future plans for Bank of Fitness? What’s coming next that your users will be excited about? Does the Health Graph play a role in that, and if so, how?

CD: Our near term plan is to integrate with fitness club management software companies so we can reward people working out at gyms. The Health Graph will play an important role, since we want those millions of gym members to also track their workout activities outside of the gym.

We have some exclusive discounts from retailers and are in-process on building new relationships that will result in even more exciting gifts and discounts for our users.

We have also created BoF APIs for use by fitness club management software companies. We are in partnership conversations with club management software companies to use our APIs.

Bill Day (@billday) is Platform Evangelist for RunKeeper where he helps developers learn about and use the Health Graph.

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Health Graph API additions

We’ve made several recent additions to the Health Graph API (@healthgraphapi) based upon partner feedback and requests.

Recently added fields include:

  • source – string added to Fitness Activities, Background Activities, Nutrition, Sleep, Diabetes Measurements, and Weight portions of the Health Graph API; this provides the name of the application that last modified the given activity or measurement; see documentation for details.
  • is_live – boolean added to Fitness Activities to indicate whether the activity is currently being tracked via RunKeeper Live; note that this field will report ‘false‘ until at least one GPS point for the Live activity is received (this should occur immediately upon beginning the Live activity, but may be delayed up to several seconds if it takes longer than normal for GPS hardware to acquire a sufficient GPS signal).
  • userID – integer added to each team member entry from Street Team GET /team response to allow developers to more easily access team member account details (assuming member has authorized the calling app).
  • past activities are now available in a summary form that is more conducive to bandwidth-constrained environments; search for ‘summary’ in the Fitness Activities docs to learn more.
  • blood markers – a number of additional markers have been added to the General Measurements portion of the Health Graph API; for the complete list of what’s now available, please refer to documentation for General Measurements and Diabetes portions of the API.

Please let us know if you have any questions about these API updates by leaving a comment here or on this Health Graph discussion group thread (click here to access).

Bill Day (@billday) is Platform Evangelist for RunKeeper where he helps developers learn about and use the Health Graph.


Off road mapping via OS RouteMapper and the Health Graph

Mark Kelsey (@freddy4th) is a doctor and a programmer with some great ideas for using the Health Graph (@healthgraphapi). This week we feature him and his first published Health Graph app, OS RouteMapper (@osroutemapper), in our ongoing series on Health Graph partners.

Bill Day: Please tell us about yourself and your company.

Mark Kelsey: I am a doctor by profession and an amateur self taught programmer. I have developed a number of web applications and software packages which we use within my medical practice and I now also work for a software company which develops clinical decision support software. Work on my Health Graph app OS RouteMapper is therefore a bit of a sideline at the moment, though with my medical background I have lots of ideas for how the Health Graph API could be used to help people manage their medical conditions.

BD: What’s the “elevator pitch” for why someone should use your app?

MK: OS RouteMapper allows people to view their Runkeeper activities on Ordnance Survey maps within the UK. These maps are world renowned for being very detailed and in particular provide excellent detail off road. They are therefore particularly useful for walkers, cyclists or runners who don’t stick to roads! Outside the UK, the app uses OpenStreetMaps Cycle Maps which in many areas are much more detailed than Google maps, again particularly useful off road.

BD: How did you get started using the Health Graph API?

MK: After using Runkeeper to track my cycling activities, I wanted to view my activities on more detailed maps so I could see where I’d been (I’m often cycling at night along dark tracks!) and plan where else to ride.

Before the Health Graph API was released, I developed a web site that would allow me to upload GPX files to show on an OS Map. When the Health Graph API was released it was a natural development to automatically get the activities off Runkeeper. I was surprised by how many people started using the app when I published it and when I saw that people from other countries were using it I added the support for OpenStreetMaps Cycle Maps. After seeing how easy it was to integrate with the Health Graph API, I have thought of lots of other ideas about how the data could be used in different ways.

BD: How has using the Health Graph benefited you?

MK: At the moment this is just a sideline for me but I think some of the ideas I have may have even greater appeal to lots of people and may become a commercial opportunity.

BD: Which portions of the Health Graph API do you use, and why?

MK: I mainly use the activities feed and in particular the path of each activity is used to plot the route on the map. The street team feed is also used to enable users to view street team members’ activities on the maps.

BD: What do you like about the Health Graph? What would you like to see changed?

MK: It is very easy to integrate with the Health Graph and the documentation is very clear, even for an amateur programmer like me! One addition I would appreciate is the ability to view the user’s saved routes as this is currently not available. I would also like to develop the ability for users to plan routes using my maps and save them back to the Runkeeper / HealthGraph site as a route.

BD: If you could request any crazy new feature from the Health Graph, what would it be? How would you use it?

MK: With my background as a doctor, I would really love to see some integration with clinical systems and devices so that users can see data (e.g. blood glucose measurements, BP readings, Weight readings etc.) that their doctor has on the clinical system, and they can see the effect of their exercise on their medical conditions. This could extend to things like blood glucose monitors so patients can automatically upload data. I think this kind of thing could really help telemedicine develop in the future.

BD: Can you share any future plans for your app? What’s coming next that your users will be excited about? Does the Health Graph play a role in that, and if so, how?

MK: In the immediate future, I am developing a way for users to compare their performance over parts of their routes i.e. split times, so that even if they don’t follow exactly the same route twice, they can compare their performance over the parts of the route that are the same. As stated above I have a number of other ideas that I think would work well with the Health Graph and build on it. I am hoping to develop these.

BD: Is there anything else we should know about you or your application?

MK: You can follow future developments on Twitter at @osroutemapper!

Bill Day (@billday) is Platform Evangelist for RunKeeper where he helps developers learn about and use the Health Graph.


Social workouts with Fitness Tracker 90 CE and the Health Graph

Are you a developer with an idea for using the Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) but no company (yet) to help you build it? Take inspiration from this week’s featured partner, Steve Chen of SJC Global, Inc., who built Fitness Tracker 90 CE (@iFitnessTracker) himself while holding down a separate full-time job. You can do it too!

Bill Day: Please tell us about yourself and your company.

Steve Chen: My company, SJC Global, is self owned and I am the sole employee. I do occasionally contract with other individuals as necessary, but the core of the product is all developed by myself. The company started in August 2010, and the company’s mission is to create great apps that enhance users lives. I hope to expand and grow the company’s products in the next year. My company is currently one of my many “hobbies”, as I am only able to work on it during my free time, since I also have a regular full-time job.

I have a Computer Science degree as well as an MBA and a great deal of experience working in the technology industry. I’ve worked at numerous companies throughout my career including small start-ups as well as large multi-billion dollar companies.

BD: What’s the “elevator pitch” for why someone should use your app?

SC: Fitness Tracker 90 CE is an app for your mobile device that allows you to record and monitor your workout progress. You no longer need to try and remember your workout schedule, since the app allows you to customize any routine to fit your needs. Use the app to track any 60 or 90 day workout or anything in between. Entering data is simple with the sleek user interface that is designed with speed of entry in mind. With Fitness Tracker 90 CE you know exactly how your workout is progressing given the detailed logs and elegant graphs that let you visualize your achievements. Get social with your workout by sharing your results on the RunKeeper service, or sharing your workouts on the user forums.

BD: How did you get started using the Health Graph API?

SC: I felt that integrating with RunKeeper would benefit both my existing users as well as RunKeeper users not yet using Fitness Tracker 90 CE.

I started development using the Health Graph API by going through the documentation on the developer site. I also worked closely with the RunKeeper team initially on validating some of the API requirements to ensure that they would map to my needs as well as others.

BD: How has using the Health Graph benefited your business?

SC: Having the ability for users to post their results to the RunKeeper service has helped expand the reasons why someone would purchase my app. Users tend to see the integration with the RunKeeper service as a great benefit and I am thrilled that I am now able to offer that service to them in Fitness Tracker 90 CE. Traffic to my site has started to increase with little promotion thus far, and I hope to see the traffic continue to rise as more and more announcements are made.

BD: Which portions of the Health Graph API do you use, and why?

SC: Fitness Tracker 90 CE currently utilizes the strength tracking and weight measurement features of the Health Graph API. The decision to use these Health Graph features was based on what Fitness Tracker 90 CE is designed to do, and that is to allow users to track and maintain their fitness.

BD: What do you like about the Health Graph? What would you like to see changed?

SC: The Health Graph makes it easy for any app to integrate with it through the use of the APIs. The one difficulty I found frustrating at times was that errors on the server often resulted in HTML pages coming back instead of a simple response with an error code and description. I could see the need for an HTML page result when the API is called from a web page itself, but when calling the APIs through a mobile app the result needs to be parsed out of all the HTML and it is unclear in the documentation what types of error conditions may arise.

BD: If you could request any crazy new feature from the Health Graph, what would it be? How would you use it?

SC: My first request would be a simple change to how fitness activities are recorded. Currently, there is a type “other” that may be used when defining a new fitness activity. I would like to see an optional field that would allow you to also specify the fitness activity name, as this option would allow my users to track activities such as cardio kickboxing or other workouts that don’t necessarily have individual exercises.

BD: Can you share any future plans for your app? What’s coming next that your users will be excited about? Does the Health Graph play a role in that, and if so, how?

SC: I can’t give away all my secrets, but I can say that I do plan on expanding my app to other devices in the future. The mobile industry is growing at an extraordinary rate and getting Fitness Tracker 90 CE on all mobile devices is one of my goals for 2012.

I am planning on integrating more workouts with the RunKeeper service as soon as the APIs are available that would allow me to do so. My goal is that every exercise, whether strength training related or not, that can be tracked in Fitness Tracker 90 CE should be integrated into RunKeeper.

There are also plans to add a stopwatch feature that will allow users to better monitor the time spent on fitness activities. This feature is already available through the RunKeeper API and would be something that users could look forward to seeing.

BD: Is there anything else we should know about you or your application?

SC: If you are serious about working out and keeping track of your routine then definitely give Fitness Tracker 90 CE a try!

Bill Day (@billday) is Platform Evangelist for RunKeeper where he helps developers learn about and use the Health Graph.