There is a lot of movement in digital health and fitness around the tracking and analysis of health and fitness data. No longer is the shoe pedometer the sole option to measure personal activity; tracking has evolved. If your goal is to increase physical activity, lose weight, improve sleep quality, or improve your overall health there is a tracker to help you reach your goal.
Startups are forming in the United States and around the world with solutions to improve the individual and group health and fitness experience. These wearable self-tracking solutions are aimed at hardware and software, either leveraging native smartphone functionality or as a stand-alone device. The wearable device clips to a body part or pulls data from a body part. Each solution – activity tracker, device, and mobile app – is actively creating and storing large amounts of data. As these devices have grown in complexity the technology has becoming affordable. They’re accurate, intuitive, and integrate easily with everyday technology to provide insight into the habits and activity that make up an individual’s daily routine. It is no longer only the early adapters and fitness junkies that are tracking their every movement and feeling. One clear indication this movement has captured the mainstream: Best Buy is devoting an entire section of the store to health and fitness hardware. Yes, this space is exploding; there are a few companies that Addaero believes are currently leading the movement:
Withings, an Addaero partner, is based in Paris, France, and has a scale that records weight, fat, BMI, heart rate and environment. The data is uploaded wirelessly to your personal Withings portal for additional tracking and analyses of the data. Withings is set to release an activity tracker to compete with Fitbit and Jawbone
Fitbit, based in San Francisco, has an activity tracker that clips on a belt or a bracelet for the wrist. It uses an accelerometer and altimeter to measure activity levels and sleep patterns. The LED displays steps walked, stairs climbed and calories burned. The data is also uploaded wirelessly to your personal Fitbit portal for additional analysis. Fitbit also has a scale that competes with Withings.
Jawbone, also based in San Francisco, has the Up, a wristband that communicates with an iPhone and can also measure physical activity and sleep patterns. It recently announced partnerships with a number of activity tracker/apps to aggregate data in the Jawbone platform.
The population is aging, health-care costs continue to grow, and obesity is above 20% in all 50 states. If obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, by 2030, 13 states could have adult obesity rates above 60 percent, 39 states could have rates above 50 percent, and all 50 states could have rates above 44 percent.
The reality is each person needs to take a more active role in their health and fitness with an emphasis on monitoring, prevention and analysis. According to the National institute of Diabetes, 78% of American’s are not meeting basic activity level recommendations. Using one or more trackers provides useful data about individual daily activity and health metrics. It dispels the myth and provides the facts — am I active, are my health metrics at acceptable levels, am I improving (or declining) over a period of time?
Each piece of health and fitness data created by the user is wirelessly submitted, and stored in a portal, a “silo”. This data contains individual metrics for weight, fat, blood- pressure, BMI, height, active time, sleep quality, etc. These metrics are generally viewed independent of each other. Yes, the data is useful, but it is difficult for the user to accurately understand how each result metric correlates if access to each metric requires logging in to a separate website. If sleep, weight, and activity metrics are stored in three different websites how can the user compare the data and look for trends?
As the quantified self-movement grows, so will user-created data. This data, remains in silos, independent of similar data, and slowly loses its value. This problem is not a new one, but it is growing with each step tracked. Our charge was to figure out a way to unify this data, increase its value, and make it meaningful. Addaero has been used for years to plan, track, and analyze physical activity. Integrating health and activity tracking was a logical next step.
Take Bob, for instance, a fictitious character with an Addaero Solo account, Withings scale, and a Fitbit. How was the Bob’s weight or sleep correlating to his fitness?
Bob was exercising 5 days a week and tracking it in Addaero. His Withings data next to his fitness activity showed a slight increase in weight and BMI, but his body fat percent had reduced, and his sleep quality increased. His weight, if viewed independent of other data would show Bob was gaining weight. Correlated with other metrics, Bob was actually more fit.
During a two-week span Bob was not able to work out. When he reviewed the data on his Addaero Solo calendar it showed, according to his Fitbit data, that he walked 4+ miles and over 10,000 steps each day. His Withings data next to his Fitbit data showed a decrease in weight, lower body fat percentage, and a decrease in blood pressure. Bob realized that he was also active in his job and this removed the frustration of missing two weeks of workouts. Unifying Bob’s data from different data sources provided Bob insight that would not be available if the data was stored in a silo.
Addaero Solo Health is designed to extend the power of the Addaero Solo calendar to unify health and activity data with fitness data. The user can take their health and activity data and synch it with their Addaero Solo account. The data now provides insight into the user’s lifestyle as it is compared and analyzed with other metrics in a unified view. As Addaero creates additional relationships, the user has more connectivity options, and the data becomes more powerful.