Improve your health with GEAR4 Renew SleepClock

The GEAR4 Renew SleepClock is a non-contact (no headbands or wristbands) sleep monitor for RunKeeper (@runkeeper) users. Read on to learn how GEAR4 uses the Health Graph API & platform (@healthgraphapi) to add sleep into your health and wellness profile.

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

Shane Dodson: I joined GEAR4 five years ago and have been developing consumer electronics accessories during my time here, mostly docking stations and Bluetooth products. We started to make our products app-enabled around 3 years ago. This also meant we could look beyond the audio products which made up our core range.

I enjoy long distance running and so getting the chance to work with products that measure my health and fitness has been really exciting. I am currently training for my first ultra marathon. Looking at my sleep and running stats helps me to analyse the progress of my training program and also keeps me motivated by sharing the data with some of my training partners. I am trying to observe patterns – for example when I have had periods of very heavy training, do I sleep longer or deeper?

BD: What is the “elevator pitch” for why someone should use Renew SleepClock?

SD: The Renew SleepClock is a wireless sleep monitor that allows you to track, learn, and improve a third of your life you know little about!

Renew uses a sophisticated bio-sensor to wirelessly monitor your sleep. It knows when you’re awake and it knows when you’re asleep. It even knows whether you’re in light or deep sleep. It senses your breathing and movement and wakes you up at the best moment in your sleep cycle so you start the day feeling refreshed and energized. The Renew App lets you track your sleeping patterns from graphs and charts and gives you analysis and recommendations based on your data to help you get the most out of your sleeping life.

Gear4 Renew sleep data in the SleepClock iOS app

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

SD: When we launched the Renew SleepClock we knew that we had to engage the user, not just to measure their sleep, but to improve their habits so that they could sleep better leading to a healthier life. We knew that we had to look beyond sleep itself and started to look at potential key partnerships. RunKeeper was the obvious choice and that led us to Health Graph platform.

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

SD: SleepClock Renew can measure all sorts of details about sleep patterns, influencing factors, and suggestions on how to improve sleep. However we realised that sleep is only one of three important parts of a healthy lifestyle; sleep, diet and exercise. Health Graph platform allows the user to have this more holistic view of their wellness which is essential.

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

SD: We push Sleep Sets to the Health Graph giving you a more complete health picture. The Renew SleepClock measures these details.

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

SD: It has very good documentation. We had a request to allow group uploads of sleep data (previously it was only possible to upload a single night’s date). The API has now been changed to enable this.

We post summary statistics. It would be useful to push the underlying raw data. This would allow more interesting graphs about sleep within RunKeeper.

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

SD: We sync sleep data with our own cloud-based storage. It would be interesting to look at ways that our cloud could sync directly through the Health Graph platform. This would enable our users and RunKeeper users to have a seamless experience and have even more insight into their sleep patterns.

BD: Can you share any future plans for Renew and Gear4? What’s coming next that customers will be excited about?

SD: We are looking at a second version of the Renew SleepClock which would make this more accessible to a wider user base. We would definitely intend to continue using Health Graph platform for that.

We are also looking at other related products – more on that later this year.

BD: Is there anything else we should know about you, Renew, or Gear4?

SD: At GEAR4, we believe that personal wellness should be accessible to everyone. To that end we created the Renew brand. Leveraging our experience in smartphone accessories we are creating a line of products that help people track, learn and improve their personal well being. The Renew SleepClock is just the beginning. In the coming months and years we are looking to stand out with products that incorporate the latest technology while being affordable and simple.

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


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.


SleepRate uses heart rate and the Health Graph to teach you about your sleep

Our ongoing partner profile series features partners doing interesting and important things with the Health Graph API (@healthgraphapi). In this installment, we speak with Uri Keren, President & CEO of HypnoCore, about his company’s Health Graph integrated sleep solution SleepRate (@sleeprate).

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

UK: Sleep is a crucial component in our overall health and wellbeing.

On average we spend a third of our lifetime sleeping, but not many people realize the enormous effect sleep has on their lives. People who suffer from poor sleep are at a high risk of experiencing tiredness, negative mood swings, difficulty coping with high stress activities, difficulty maintaining healthy eating habits, weight problems, and a general deterioration in physical and cognitive functions.

SleepRate is the only solution in the market that uses widely available sports heart rate monitor (HRM) devices such as Polar, Garmin, Zephyr, and others to accurately measure and help improve sleep.

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

UK: SleepRate targets healthy people that already measure themselves using smartphones and heart rate monitor belts. We provide these people with accurate information and tools to help them measure and improve their sleep. Improving sleep in turn helps them to improve their health, sports performance, and overall well being. Given our focus around passive data collection using widely available commercial sensors and our desire to allow our customers to correlate their SleepRate data with other kinds of health and fitness information, the Health Graph API, especially the sleep related portion which we are using today, seemed like a natural fit.

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

UK: The Health Graph puts information relating to sports, sleep, and weight together in one place. This helps our customers manage their overall health while learning about their sleep habits and how those habits influence their other health parameters.

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

UK: We like the wide variety of health and fitness related data available through the Health Graph. We would like to see more tools to help connect sleep quality to sports performance and weight management.

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

UK: We would love to see the following sleep parameters (important to athletes) added to the sleep portion of the Health Graph API: Mean heart rate, mean respiration rate, and stress level.

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

UK: We currently support iOS using Polar compatible HRM devices. We are launching ANT+ support for iOS using the Wahoo dongle and an Android version supporting Polar and Zephyr HRMs soon.

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

UK: SleepRate is based on our FDA/CE certified and medically tested software algorithms that analyze sleep using R-R time analysis. We are the only solution in the market that can measure sleep accurately based upon heart rate information acquired using consumer-oriented, non-proprietary devices. SleepRate is now live and FREE (click here to learn more from our web site).

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


Health Graph AngelHacking 101

While this post is targeted at attendees of the 3-5 March 2012 AngelHack developer events, even if you’re not attending you still might find some useful Health Graph information and development tips.

Welcome AngelHackers!

Whether you’re reading this in Boston or San Francisco, you’re in for a great weekend of hacking, networking, and fun. And who knows, maybe even a great prize at the end!

This post will walk you through the key information and procedures you need to use the Health Graph during the hackathon.

First up, here’s a copy of the Health Graph programming primer we’re presenting onsite to get you going (click through the presentation and note that links are live):

AngelHack Health Graph 101

View more presentations from Bill Day

More details on some key points:

You can access a technical overview of the RESTful Health Graph API by clicking here.

All Health Graph partners are required to follow the Health Graph API Policies.

When you’re ready to get started building a Health Graph API application, visit the RunKeeper Partner page and click “Connect To Our API“. From there you can fill out the form to register your new Health Graph integrated app, service, or device.

Click here to learn about authorization removal callbacks before providing your callback URL on the form. If you will be reading data out of the Health Graph for accounts other than your own app registering account, you should also request Read permission on the form, being sure you give a detailed explanation of what you will do with that data once you’ve accessed it.

Note: Please include the appropriate city-specific hashtag, #angelHackSF or #angelHackBOS, in your new application description and Read permission justification so we can address your request as quickly as possible.

Need some inspiration to get your developer juices flowing? Check out some of the applications built and deployed using the Health Graph API, available from the RunKeeper Apps page (click here). You can also access an archive of third party libraries, wrappers, and bindings which might make your Health Graph API-based development easier by clicking here. And there’s more information on how app and library partners are taking advantage of the Health Graph via our Health Graph partner profiles series on the blog.

When you encounter issues, you can ask questions and join in the developer conversation by visiting the Health Graph discussion group. You can file issues in our support form. You can also reach our team on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Related content that may also interest you:

  • Click here to learn how to export your own user data from the Health Graph; useful for backups as well as parsing your data to re-upload into a test account via the Health Graph API.
  • The Healthy button allows you to easily embed the ability to share health and fitness related content on your site or blog into Health Graph users’ FitnessFeeds; click here to learn more about the Healthy button

Now that you know how to use the Health Graph, go build something great and win this thing! Happy hacking!

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


Sleepy brings Health Graph sleep tracking to Android

Italian developer Massimiliano Fanciulli (@fanciulli) is building his Sleepy Android app on top of the Health Graph (@healthgraphapi). Read our discussion below to learn more about this Health Graph partner and how he’s taking advantage of the Health Graph API to give people a free tool for tracking their sleep.

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

Massimiliano Fanciulli: I’m a Software Engineer and I work in Pisa, Italy, the city with the leaning tower. I like developing Android apps in my spare time and I’m the creator of the sleep tracking app Sleepy.

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

MF: Sleepy can be used to track your sleep cycle. I made it freely available and as simple to use as possible so that everyone could track their sleep easily.

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

MF: I started as a RunKeeper user. At first I simply needed to record physical activities and RunKeeper helped me track my running. It was very motivational. As soon as the Health Graph became available I started playing with it. Sleepy is my first app which uses it.

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

MF: I use the Sleep and the Profile portions of the Health Graph API. I use them to store new data and display related data about the user.

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

MF: The Health Graph is well structured and covers most of the data that describe your fitness and workouts. It is a powerful tool for building an app, letting you to focus on the logic and not on data storage and management.

I appreciate its attention to diabetic users. It would be great to have new portions of the Health Graph covering other physical aspects and conditions so that new applications could be built allowing users affected by other pathologies to track their workouts and optimize their health in the best way possible.

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

MF: Callbacks and push messages should be added to the Health Graph so that apps can be notified by the platform when updates occurs. With these, for example, a developer could build an app which notifies you in case one of your friends starts a running workout near you. Very useful! [Editor’s note: The Health Graph does support a authorization removal callback today, but does not currently provide push notifications of the kind Massimiliano mentions.]

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?

MF: I’m receiving great feedback from the Sleepy Google+ page. People seem to be very interested in the app and they’re joining the page and contributing. I’ll continue to develop some of the features those users are requesting. For instance, I added support for manual posting of data in a recent Sleepy update.

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


Ruby fans, meet the Health Graph

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?

KM: We are planning to add support for strength training activities very soon. Nutrition and background activities are also on our to do list.

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.

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