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.


Fitness in your blood

InsideTracker (@Inside_Tracker) is a blood marker based service that provides a Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) integrated dashboard for your body. Read on to learn how you can use the Inside Tracker service (click here to buy at a special discount) to better understand how to optimize your own health and wellness.

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

Gil Blander: I am the founder of Segterra, the company that created InsideTracker, the most advanced blood analysis program.

InsideTracker is an innovative, web-based platform that combines blood analysis with your demographic information and unique goals to create a roadmap to optimal wellness and performance. The program recommends simple and tangible interventions, such as changes in food, supplements, lifestyle, and exercise, to help our users achieve their goals.

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

GB: Our bodies are our most valued possessions. InsideTracker gives you information and tools to help you perform at your most efficient and optimal level every day.

A good analogy is taking your car in for service every 5000 miles. The technician runs the computer diagnostic and then tells you what you should do to keep your car running in the best condition possible.

Every 3-6 months, getting your blood drawn and analyzed by InsideTracker tells you the current state of your body. It’s like having a window inside yourself to see exactly how you are doing. That knowledge combined with InsideTracker’s recommendations for simple lifestyle and nutrition changes empowers you to keep your body in the best possible condition.

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

GB: Our team was looking for partners who shared our goal of giving customers control of their wellness and performance. We were really excited to have the opportunity to integrate with RunKeeper. We think that there can be important synergies between InsideTracker and other companies using the Health Graph platform.

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

GB: The Health Graph platform has an extensive community of users who want to track their fitness and performance. It’s a perfect fit for InsideTracker and for our customers.

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

GB: Initially, we are using the Health Graph API to acquire up-to-date information from InsideTracker users via mobile apps. These apps are convenient for our customers, and the data we receive from them makes our analysis more timely.

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

GB: The Health Graph platform is excellent because it integrates so many different products and applications. Our customers benefit from being able to share and track many aspects of their fitness and wellness data through Health Graph.

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

GB: In fact, the Health Graph team has already responded to our request to extend the Health Graph API to represent measurements of the biomarkers analyzed by InsideTracker! We plan to explore future extensions to InsideTracker in which users will be able to share their analysis data using the Health Graph API.

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

GB: InsideTracker is planning to integrate data from wireless scales so that we can update our recommendations for nutrition and exercise daily based on a customer’s weight. The Health Graph API is essential for us to integrate these data.

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

GB: If you are looking for a roadmap to wellness and performance, get InsideTracker. You will find out where you are, where you should be, and how to get there by making changes in lifestyle, exercise, and nutrition. We turn measurements into meaningful advice.

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.


Corporate wellness, meet Limeade and the Health Graph

I’m very pleased to continue our series of Health Graph partner profiles with a discussion with Erick Rivas (@erickrivas) of Limeade (@limeade). Limeade is a leading corporate wellness provider that recently announced support for RunKeeper and other Health Graph API (@healthgraphapi) partner devices and apps in their Limeade Open App & Device Platform. Read on to learn more about how Limeade is using the Health Graph to make the workplace healthier and more fun too!

Bill Day: What do you do for Limeade?

Erick Rivas: I’m CTO and VP of Product Development at Limeade.

BD: How does your work at Limeade help corporations and their people?

ER: People spend a lot of time at work. And, habits at work — what you eat, how active you are, how you manage stress, etc. — have a huge effect on health and happiness. We help reinforce and change company culture in ways that promote health, happiness and productivity.

BD: That is a fantastic mission! How do you take advantage of the Health Graph API in your work?

ER: There is a lot of innovation going on in the area of fitness devices and apps. Users want to leverage best-in-class fitness devices and apps they already use and have that activity automatically count towards the rewards and incentives that are part of their company’s worksite wellness program.

For example, I took my daughter for a trick-or-treating “walk” of 3 miles around our neighborhood last night using RunKeeper and this morning, via our Health Graph integration, I automatically got 1 point for that as part of the walking challenge that I am participating in at Limeade. Employees can receive health insurance premium deductions, Amazon.com Gift Cards, be entered into a raffle for an iPad, and so on when certain points thresholds are met.

BD: How do you see this partnership with RunKeeper benefiting individual employees at the companies you’re working with?

ER: Our integration via the Health Graph API gives RunKeeper users a way to connect with others at their company in a social context. It gives Limeade users a fun way to track their physical activity using the fitness app or device of their choice.

BD: When a user starts using RunKeeper capabilities via the Health Graph integration in Limeade, what specifically happens behind the scenes?

ER: Upon authorization by the user (using OAuth), we are downloading/syncing with all Fitness Activity types and associated units (miles, calories, minutes) that are supported by the Health Graph API.

BD: Any thoughts on the overall strategy we’re taking with the Health Graph and the developer community?

ER: I really like the vision and direction of the Health Graph in providing an open way for users to store, manage and share historical health data from multiple providers.

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

ER: I’d like to be able to distinguish between activities that were recorded by a device versus self-reported activities in the activity feed that is returned from the Health Graph API without having to parse through the GPS data.

Also, I’d like to be able know what the source of the device data is in cases where the user is not using the RunKeeper app (say they were using a partner device from Fitbit, Polar or Garmin). That way, we could not only show that you had (say) burned 10,000 calories in the last two weeks as part of your company’s Biggest Loser weight maintenance challenge, but also break that down by type of device.

BD: Thanks for the suggestions and requests, we appreciate them very much. What’s next for Limeade and your use of the Health Graph?

ER: We follow an Agile Development approach at Limeade and as a result we are deploying product improvements once a month.

In the near term, we will be improving the visualization of self-improvement information (activity, biometrics) and social features on the site.

Pulling additional data types that are stored in the Health Graph outside of physical/fitness activities (nutrition, weight, blood glucose levels, etc.) is something we will be supporting as well.

BD: Is there anything else we should know about you and your customers’ use of Limeade?

ER: I trust that a lot of Limeade users will be excited about the integration with RunKeeper and the Health Graph API. And I look forward to feedback on ways that we can make it even better!

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