DietBet (@dietbet) enables runners and other RunKeeper (@runkeeper) users to lose weight socially by challenging their friends to a fun weight loss competition. Below we discuss how DietBet uses the Health Graph API & platform (@healthgraphapi) to help motivate people and keep their weight loss journeys fun.
Bill Day: Please tell us about yourself and your work.
Adam McClean: I’ve been a product manager for almost eight years with a primary focus in e-commerce and consumer brands. I’m also training for a mini marathon later this year.
BD: What is the “elevator pitch” for why someone should use DietBet?
AM: DietBet is the best way to jumpstart your weight loss and access the support necessary for success. It’s a great mix of behavioral economics (loss aversion and financial incentives), community, and accountability. Players put money on the line and commit to losing 4% of their starting weight in 4 weeks. During the game players make friends, talk smack, and track their progress as they approach their goal. Everyone who reaches the 4% goal ends up splitting the pot — and making some extra money!
BD: How did you get started using the Health Graph API?
AM: I’ve been using RunKeeper and saving my personal data to the Health Graph for a long time. After I participated in my first DietBet, it was clear the two should integrate.
BD: How will the Health Graph platform benefit your business?
AM: Running and weight loss have a symbiotic relationship: Losing weight helps you improve your running time and running helps you burn calories and lose weight. Players who connect with RunKeeper will be able to send weight updates and running activities directly into their DietBet game. Also, any weight updates made on DietBet will be saved back to the player’s Health Graph account.
BD: Which portions of the Health Graph API do you use, and why?
AM: Since DietBet players are required to submit their weight in order to play the game, we wanted to allow them to do this from both DietBet and RunKeeper. We are using Weight Measurements to get/post all of the weight data. We are also grabbing running details from Fitness Activities, so other players can see the hard work being done to help a player make their 4% goal.
BD: What do you like about the Health Graph API?
BD: If you could request any new feature from the Health Graph platform, what would it be? How would you use it?
AM: Most weight data is inputted manually using the honor code. Because we have a team of referees and a photo-based verification solution, we’d like to be able to indicate when weight entries are “verified” vs “manual” the same way you can specify a “tracked” vs “manual” fitness entry.
BD: Can you share any future plans for DietBet? What’s coming next that people will be excited about?
AM: We’re hoping to expand beyond the current game (4% in 4 weeks) and allow users to play games with longer timelines and larger weight loss goals. We also want to reward players for maintaining their weight or establishing healthy habits.
BD: Is there anything else we should know about you or DietBet?
AM: Organize a game today and use promo code
HEALTHGRAPH. If you get 8+ other players into the game, we’ll refund your bet!
This week we are featuring one of the developers building libraries and wrappers on top of the Health Graph (@healthgraphapi), Kenny Ma (@kennyma). Kenny has made his Health Graph Ruby gem available via GitHub for anyone and everyone to use. Click here to give it a try yourself and read on for more on why and how he built it.
Bill Day: Please tell us about yourself and your interest in the Health Graph API.
Kenny Ma: I’m an entrepreneur and software engineer in San Francisco. Prior to my venture in a new health start-up, I was a lead engineer at IGN Entertainment where I worked on IGN’s social network for gamers and IGN’s mobile apps. My co-founder and I are working on improving workplace wellness by creating fitness challenges for groups within companies. The Health Graph API provides a great way to track each individual’s progress.
BD: Why did you develop your own Ruby gem for accessing the Health Graph API?
KM: There are quite a few good Ruby gems for the Health Graph API now but there weren’t any when we started.
BD: Which portions of the Health Graph API does your gem support? Do you use all of them in your own application?
KM: The gem currently supports authentication, fitness activities, sleep, weight, profile, and users. We are currently using all of these in our application and will also be adding more API support soon.
BD: Which additional portions of the Health Graph API do you plan to add in the future?
BD: What do you like about the Health Graph? What would you like to see changed?
KM: I love the idea of making this data available so that developers like myself can quickly build health applications on top of it. I think end users will benefit tremendously from the innovations that will come out of this. I don’t see a need to change anything at this time. Keep up the good work.
BD: If you could request any new feature from the Health Graph, what would it be? How would you use it?
KM: None. The Health Graph works very well for us and we haven’t had any problems with it for our application.
BD: Can you share any future plans for your gem? What’s coming next that Health Graph developers may be excited about?
KM: There will definitely be more API support and more test coverage. We will be releasing more updates very soon so make sure you watch the repository if you are using the gem.
BD: Is there anything else we should know about you or your gem?
KM: I’m excited to be able to share the gem with the community and any suggestions for improvement are always welcome.