Weighty makes weight and fat percentage entry simple

Some of the best Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) partner apps are built to solve a developer’s own health and fitness issues. Case in point: Weighty, a free mobile app for quickly and easily tracking your weight and body fat percentage using the Health Graph. Weighty creator Frank Van Rest (@frankvanrest) talks about the problem he wanted to solve with his app, and how he went about creating it, below.

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

Frank Van Rest: I’m a Dutch mathematician who graduated in the summer of 2011. During my studies I founded a web development company. After graduation I was in need of a new goal, and getting a regular job wasn’t a great lookout after being an entrepreneur for eight years.

While traveling I decided to target doing a full Ironman triathlon in two years. I’ve always been a basketball player and couldn’t swim, so this was a challenge. But I’ve been in training for half a year now and am getting in quite good shape!

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

FVR: Weighty is a free iPhone app that makes it super easy to submit your weight and fat percentage to the Health Graph. Tracking your weight is a key step to effectively losing (or gaining) weight. I hope Weighty makes this easy and simple for everyone.

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

FVR: As I’ve gone about my triathlon training, I wanted to add my weight and fat percentage to the same place as my activities. This was previously only possible via the RunKeeper website, which is not as easily accessible as a mobile app when I’m standing on my weight scale.

The Health Graph API made it easy for me to create such a mobile app myself! I started with the iOS library I found on github and got it (after some debugging) to working pretty quickly. (Editor’s note: A complete listing of available third-party Health Graph libraries is available by clicking here.)

BD: How is using the Health Graph benefiting you?

FVR: The Health Graph makes it easy to create apps that submit data to a central health-related data repository. This cloud-based approach is very valuable for users, since combined analyses can be done. RunKeeper provides free publicity for my app by highlighting it in the Health Graph app directory and showing it in users’ FitnessFeeds when they submit their weight or fat percentage to the Health Graph.

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

FVR: After authentication, I only use the API calls to POST weight and fat percentage. In the future I want to add historical data to the app, at which point I’ll also use GET calls to read that data back from the Health Graph.

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

FVR: I like the ease of use of the API. I got a working version up and ready to test in a few hours of work.

During testing I found some small bugs in the API, but the API team fixed it quickly after contact. I’d like additional capabilities to remove and edit data records as well.

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

FVR: My scale also gives water percentage and muscle percentage, which I would love to keep track of as well. If that were possible with the Health Graph as well, I’d implement in Weighty!

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

FVR: Removing or editing weight or fat percentage records is not possible at the moment (not on the RunKeeper website and not via the Health Graph API). If a user makes a typo and enters the wrong data, it can really mess up their graphs and weekly averages. I would love to have the ability to remove records via my app (or the website). As soon as that’s possible, I’ll add historical data to the app, with the possibility to edit and delete that data as well.

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

FVR: It’s a free iPhone app called Weighty and it’s available via http://weighty.frisb.nl. Please share your feedback via email to weighty@frisb.nl.

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


Health Hack Day howto

While this post is targeted at attendees of the 18-20 May 2012 Health Hack Day events in Stockholm, even if you’re not attending you still might find some useful Health Graph information and development tips. If you aren’t able to attend in person, you can also watch the livestream online.

Welcome Health Hack Day attendees and hackers!

You’re in for a great weekend of hacking, networking, and fun. And who knows, maybe even a 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 our Health Graph programming primer 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 more technical details on 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. Likewise, if you would like to ask users for permission to retain their Health Graph data across deauthorizations, please request this permission on the form.

Note: Please include the official event hashtag, #hhd12, in your new application description and 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 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!

Health Hack Day

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


OneHealthScore snapshots your health using the Health Graph

Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) partner Wellframe (@wellframe) recently launched OneHealthScore. Read our interview with Jacob Sattelmair (@jakesatt) for more on how Wellframe is using the Health Graph to reframe the health discussion for consumers.

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

Jacob Sattelmair: I am the co-founder of Wellframe, the company behind OneHealthScore. We’re a health data science startup consisting of doctors, scientists, and engineers working to better leverage data to get people engaged in their health.

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

JS: OneHealthScore is a Health Graph app that gives you real-time insight into how your physical activity impacts your health. Your score is based on the most advanced scientific research on the health benefits of physical activity. Keeping track of your score is a great way to stay motivated and make sure you are protecting your health.

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

JS: As our team’s first project, we were looking for an opportunity to apply scientific models to health behavior data in a way that would help people get new insights and be more engaged in their health. The Health Graph API was the most obvious place to start to achieve this goal.

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

JS: Using the Health Graph is a great opportunity for us to access motivated users’ health behavior data and experiment with new ways of making that data meaningful and motivational to them.

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

JS: To start we are focusing on physical activities — fitness and strength activities to be specific — as we chose to first model the impact of physical activity on health. However, we may eventually expand our model to include other data types available through the Health Graph, such as weight and nutritional intake.

BD: What do you like about the Health Graph?

JS: We love the fact that the Health Graph enables users to collect their health data across a wide range of applications and devices, and then to consent to share that data with other applications and services that enable them to get more value from those data.

BD: Can you share any future plans for Your service? What’s coming next that your users will be excited about?

JS: We will continue to iterate on OneHealthScore, exploring new ways to give users motivational insights that encourage them to do and track more activities with RunKeeper.

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


Support causes with Fitgiver and the Health Graph

The winner of our AngelHack prize for best use of the Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) was Fitgiver (@fitgiver) with their app enabling Health Graph users to raise money for the causes they love by doing the things they love to do anyway. One of Fitgiver’s founders, R. Colin Kennedy (@rcolinkennedy), took time out of a very busy schedule to answer a few questions for us. Take his experiences as inspiration to build great things at a hackathon near you, too!

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

R. Colin Kennedy: The Fitgiver team comes from a variety of backgrounds – some of us work at startups, some of us have a background in big business, and another is staff at MIT – but what unites us the opportunity that Fitgiver presents to create a meaningful impact.

BD: How did you get involved with AngelHack? And why did you decide to try out the Health Graph API?

CK: Well, a few of us ride bicycles together and had been kicking this around for a while. AngelHack was a great opportunity to move things to the next level. We had each individually done hackathons and Startup Weekends on other projects, and AngelHack promised a higher level of visibility, great prizes, and uniqueness because it was the first time running it in Boston.

The Fitgiver concept was tied to the Health Graph from its very inception. When we ride together, several of us use RunKeeper to track our activities. We knew that creates a data stream that is accessible and we thought we’d try and put it to use for causes we care about.

The beauty of it is that once users connect Fitgiver with their Health Graph account, they don’t actually have to do anything differently than they already were: Just use RunKeeper like normal, and we pull the data. [Editor's note: This should work with other Health Graph-based fitness activity tracking apps as well.]

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

CK: There are at least two different answers to that question.

First, our elevator pitch is that Fitgiver connects people and the causes they care about with organizations that want to sponsor them.

Second, users should consider Fitgiver because if they’re already going for a run or ride anyway, why not do some good while they’re at it?

BD: How is using the Health Graph benefiting Fitgiver? Which portions of the Health Graph API do you use, and why?

CK: The Health Graph makes data collection super easy. Currently, we’re using the workouts people track with RunKeeper. This is great because we also get the geo data, which we can use to verify that these workouts were real workouts, and at some point we’re thinking about localizing sponsorships so local businesses can sponsor local athletes. This really opens up a very powerful potential for both charities and small businesses to support people that are in their communities.

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

CK: So far we’ve been really happy with the reliability and documentation with the API. It just works!

BD: Can you share any future plans for Fitgiver?

CK: We’re in talks with national health-related charities, and with sponsor companies that are looking like potential launch partners. Feedback has been so positive, we just have to keep going.

BD: Is there anything else we should know about your team or your application?

CK: We are all RunKeeper users and athletes, and have been so excited by the level of support that we’ve gotten from the RunKeeper team. Looking forward to furthering the partnership!

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.


Get more readers for your content with the Healthy button

We’ve launched a new web-based plugin, the Healthy button.

The Healthy button enables Health Graph partners and content providers of all kinds to easily and quickly embed the button in websites and web applications, allowing people interested in fitness, nutrition, and related healthy content to share articles and websites through their RunKeeper FitnessFeed. You can see an example of the Healthy button in use by one of our partners, GE Healthymagination, below.

The Healthy button is important because it allows people to share health content selectively with their friends who also care about health content, rather than with their entire social graph.

The Healthy button also provides developers with a powerful (and free) way to reach a whole new audience that is interested in health and wellness, driving new visitors to health related blogs, sites, and other online resources.

Anyone interested in sharing healthy content can also add a Healthy bookmarklet to their browser and share anything healthy, anywhere they find it on the web, to their feed. Click here to read about the Healthy button, grab the bookmarklet, and visit some of the partners getting Healthy via the RunKeeper.com blog announcement.

Details for embedding the Healthy button in your content are available from the Healthy button partner page in the Health Graph developer site. Key bits:

  • Code for embedding the Healthy button is available here
  • There are some meta-tags available to provide more information when a user marks a piece of your content as healthy; get the details here

With millions of registered Health Graph users and a quick and easy integration, why not give it a try?

Please let us know what feedback you have as you try the Healthy button out yourself. Thanks, and happy healthy sharing!

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


Vitogo: A personal trainer in your pocket

We recently spoke with Arel English (@arelenglish), CEO and co-founder of Vitogo (@myvitogo), about their integration with the Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) and how being a Health Graph partner is benefiting their business. Read on to learn about how Vitogo recreates what a personal trainer does for you using your iOS device and the web.

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

Arel English: Fitness has always been a really important part of my life and is something I struggled with as a kid. In college, first as an athlete and later as a coach, I learned the importance of strength training for health and fitness and achieving meaningful results. The problem is that strength training is really complicated and intimidating, so we created Vitogo to make strength training easy and fun.

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

AE: Strength training is a really important part of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it help you look better, it’s also an important part of weight loss, reducing your risk of injury, and increasing bone density. The problem is knowing how to strength train effectively. Vitogo makes it simple. Just like a personal trainer, Vitogo assesses your fitness level and goals to give you a tailored workout program that evolves with you. It coaches you through every step of your workout, tracks your progress, and keeps you motivated with the support of your friends, other users, and rewards.

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

AE: As an avid RunKeeper user before the idea for Vitogo even existed, I used to complain that my strength training workouts didn’t count toward anything on my RunKeeper account, so when we decided to build Vitogo, the first thing we wanted to do was look into how we could have our workouts post to RunKeeper so we could get credit for all our hard work. At the time, the Health Graph API hadn’t been announced, so we were pretty excited to learn about it when we first reached out to RunKeeper about the possibility of integrating Vitogo.

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

AE: The Health Graph is a great way to aggregate everything active we’re doing online. Just like how Facebook made it easy for new services to seamlessly share information socially across the web, the Health Graph has made it really easy to seamlessly share healthy activity. Sharing healthy activity and being able to aggregate it and see the big picture makes Vitogo that much better a product, and is something we are really excited about!

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

AE: Right now we’re just publishing to the Fitness Feed and pulling Vitogo users’ RunKeeper activities. We want to quickly expand to sending calories burned and strength training statistics to the Health Graph so our users can get a more integrated experience.

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

AE: Being able to fully integrate Vitogo, a heart rate monitor, a swimming tracker, and tons of other stuff that I use to track my activities is hugely powerful, that’s what I love about the Health Graph. I’m looking forward to being able to see exactly what each service is going to publish to RunKeeper, and pull from RunKeeper, so I know for example if Vitogo is going to update my total number of calories burned, and number of activities done that month.

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

AE: Having the ability to control how individual apps post to the fitness feed would be an awesome extension of the Health Graph. We would like Vitogo to be able to post simple stories about a user’s strength training workout with the same type of control you have when deciding how your app posts to Facebook or Twitter.

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?

AE: We are really excited about getting users using Vitogo and giving us feedback on what they love, and what we can do better. We want to make sure that everyone using Vitogo feels confident and in control at the gym. We’re also going to continue to improve our Health Graph integration so our users get the best total picture of their fitness.

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

AE: Vitogo is an iPhone/ iPod Touch app and a website! Using Vitogo.com is as much a part of the experience as using the app!

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


Scosche myTREK: Health Graph wireless pulse monitoring on your forearm

We’ve previously featured Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) applications and third party libraries in our ongoing partner profiles series. This time, we turn our attention to a device partner, Scosche Industries (@scosche), and their Health Graph-integrated myTrek device. Read on to learn more about myTrek and how Scosche is taking advantage of the Health Graph.

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

Rick Wenner: My background is as a fitness educator and I have spent the last decade instructing thousands of fitness professionals and consumers on how to properly maintain a healthy lifestyle. I have always seen technology as a crucial tool in expanding the possibilities and opportunities within the fitness industry. I have dedicated much of my professional career to developing award winning fitness products. I am now the Category Manager for Health and Fitness at Scosche Industries where I focus on promoting and developing Scosche’s line of Health and Fitness products.

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

RW: The Scosche myTREK is a wireless pulse monitor that is worn on your forearm as opposed to a traditional chest strap. Paired with the Scosche myTREK app, you can manage your pulse, training type, calories burned, distance/speed/pace and more. Scosche myTREK also allows you to control your music while you work out with the integrated buttons on the armband; volume up/down, play/pause and previous/next track.

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

RW: We realized that RunKeeper had a great platform for individuals tracking and sharing their health metrics with like-minded consumers. Once we launched we saw that quite a few of our users wanted to have the ability to share their myTREK workouts on RunKeeper’s Health Graph.

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

RW: Consumers began noticing our team’s posts during our beta testing and started asking how they could link their myTREK to the Health Graph. Since then, we have had great feedback from our existing customers, who were hoping that they would see this partnership. We are also seeing an increase in app downloads and myTREK purchases.

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

RW: We are currently using the Fitness Activities portion of the Health Graph API. We use this to allow users’ myTREK activities to be continually monitored.

BD: What do you like about the Health Graph?

RW: The Health Graph is a great tool for enabling individuals to track their progress in one or more aspects of their fitness journey. This type of constant feedback shows the individual their end result; this can either be rewarding or show them that they need to modify their workouts to see the desired results.

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

RW: The Scosche myTREK app allows users to name their workouts. It would be great if the Health Graph could recognize what the user named the workout and track it accordingly. Currently the only way to define the workout is via the notes section.

BD: Can you share any future plans for myTREK and related Scosche products? What’s coming next that your users will be excited about?

RW: Scosche has big plans for the Health and Fitness Category; however, we are not at liberty to divulge them at this time. What I can say is that we will be launching an Android app in the very near future.

BD: Is there anything else we should know about you, Scosche, or myTREK?

RW: We are focused on creating a complete exercise experience; an experience which motivates, guides and entertains by seamlessly incorporating music, social media, and all that connects you to the world. Scosche’s award winning myTREK app and hardware are a glimpse of the great things that are still to come from the Scosche Health and Fitness Category.

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


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