In a few short years, fitness has become so much more than just recording how many calories you burn or how many miles you run. There are mobile apps and standalone gadgets that’ll monitor your heart rate, how many hours you slept, the number of steps you take at work and so on.
Now RunKeeper, the company behind one of the original health and fitness apps for the iPhone, has revealed an ambitious new plan that it hopes will make it the Facebook of fitness, a one-stop location for all of your important health information. Imagine having data on your blood pressure, cholesterol, diet, cycling output, heart rate, REM sleep and BMI, all continuously updated from a slew of third-party gadgets and services.
If Facebook tells you everything about what’s happening with your friends, RunKeeper wants you to know everything that’s going on in your body.
Tucked away in Boston’s South End neighborhood, the 11-person, 3-year-old startup announced this morning that users may now see all their health and fitness data points aggregated together into a Health Graph, an interactive graphical representation of their workouts over time and how they compare to friends in their FitnessFeed, akin to Facebook’s News Feed or your standard Twitter stream.
More over, RunKeeper has also released an open API for outside developers to plug into RunKeeper users’ feeds, like so many various Twitter clients and Facebook partners. FourSquare, Zeo and Polar are just a few of the launch partners being announced today.
But with an open API setup, RunKeeper cofounder Jason Jacobs expects a steady stream of new additions to the FitnessFeed every week. And with more partners feeding health data into RunKeeper, that means more useful information for the site’s 6 million-plus users.
“It became clear that no one was pushing us harder than our community to enable them to get a holistic view of their health in one place,” RunKeeper cofounder Jason Jacobs told Wired.com. “If someone gains 10 pounds, it’s not just the food they eat or how much exercise. There are all these different drivers. Who’s peeled back the onion to start to understand what those factors are for you as an individual?
While the RunKeeper Health Graph fulfills a significant part of the company’s long-term plans, users and investors will be watching closely as the company moves to announce more initiatives later this year.
“Aggregating the world’s health information is where we ultimately want to head,” Jacobs said. “We looked at the landscape of everything we don’t yet integrate with and realized that the more inputs that come into the system, the more powerful the system becomes.”
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