There has been a steady rise of wearable devices in the recent past. Earlier, physical activity trackers were restricted to pedometers, which tracked basic fitness activity like distance covered or calories burned. As consumer interest developed and people began taking a greater interest in quantifying their fitness activities, advanced devices started popping up in the market. These devices measured diverse parameters like quality of sleep, mood, body temperature and much more.
Now there are a wealth of devices that collect all kinds of health data from its users. Smartphones, with their built in accelerometers and gyroscopes are also capable of capturing quantified activity information. This data has great potential for analysis, which could let both doctors and patients to gain a greater understanding about the state of their health.
The purpose of a Health Platform is to make sense of all that data by representing it visually. It gathers data from various tracking devices and displays it one place, called the dashboard. This dashboard presents an overview of the state of the user’s health, or the extent of their fitness activities.
Both Google Fit and Apple Healthkit fall under the category of Health Platforms. They both perform the same task – of aggregating data and displaying it in a meaningful way. Now, the inevitable question would be – which is better?
Once you sign in with your Google account, the app will begin collecting data. It’s simple to setup, and the app lets you set goals based on either duration or steps and see your progress throughout the day. You’ll also receive performance-based recommendations for activity goals. You can also track your weight. Fitness devices and apps that support Android can connect with Google Fit to show all of your data in one place.
Apple Health Kit:
The Apple Healthkit Platform came out before Google Fit did, so it’s got more features. The Health App shows heart rate, calories burned, cholesterol and all kinds of other data. You can also make an emergency card, where you can note down crucial health information like your blood type and allergies. Just like Google Fit, Apple’s healthkit platform allows developers to develop applications that can track and visualise health, fitness and medical data.
Both platforms do the same thing – capturing data and making sense of it. What sets them apart are the devices and apps they support. You cannot use the Apple Watch with Android, or Wear with iOS. So choosing between these platforms boils down to personal choice.
This is a fairly nascent technology, and developers are coming up with inclusive devices and exciting new apps which make quantifying your activities more robust and meaningful. The future sure is promising.