When we launched RunKeeper almost 3 years ago, it was just an iPhone app and an online fitness community. We’ve come a long way—in addition to the iPhone, the RunKeeper mobile app is now available for Android and Windows Phone 7, and we’ve built up a community of more than 6 million fitness enthusiasts that continues to grow at an accelerating pace.
Along the way, no one has pushed us harder than our users for the ability to tie more health data in with their RunKeeper experience. As a test to see how our users would respond, we integrated with a few fitness sensors along the way, including a wi-fi body scale, sleep monitoring devices, and heart rate transmitters. The result has been incredible—as RunKeeper users incorporate more fitness devices, their engagement level increases around tracking their health and fitness. They no longer face the burden of accessing data in a host of different places; more of their health and fitness data is in a single unified view, and they can share it out to friends easily for support and encouragement, using RunKeeper’s social tools.
The Emergence of the Health GraphWe’ve also been quietly building a powerful correlation engine to make meaning of this robust health information across categories. Simply having a central location to store all of this data wasn’t enough—we needed to store it in a way that enabled us to help users quickly and easily make sense of it. How did their health and fitness progress over time? Which of their actions helped drive them to reach their goals? What social motivators inspired them to push themselves further? By organizing this health and fitness data in one place, establishing weighted correlations, and introducing the element of time, the Health Graph emerged.
Imagine a system that can identify correlations between a user’s eating habits, workout schedule, social interactions and more, to deliver an ecosystem of health and fitness apps, websites, and sensor devices that really work, based on a user’s own historical health and fitness data. The Health Graph has the potential to completely alter the health and fitness landscape.
How do we know how transformational the Health Graph will be? RunKeeper is built on the Health Graph; we’ve integrated fitness sensor data into the Health Graph, and have leveraged its power to provide our community with meaningful health and fitness data, to help our partners to reach out to new users, and to drive our product development efforts. We couldn’t have grown our community to 6MM+ users without it.
The Health Graph APINow, we’re opening up the Health Graph API and enabling others to tap into the Health Graph and the resources on RunKeeper.com. App developers and device manufacturers can enjoy the same results we’ve achieved, while helping to provide a more holistic experience to the RunKeeper community. We’re happy to announce Foursquare, Zeo, Withings, Polar, Wahoo and BodyMedia as Health Graph alpha launch partners.
Existing Health Graph Data types include:
How this impacts device manufacturers and app developersWhat does this mean for device manufacturers and developers? They now have the opportunity to build an endless array of apps, that draw on the powerful data within the Health Graph. Health Graph developers also benefit from the social features on RunKeeper.com to gain exposure and drive sales. Social features, like our FitnessFeed and Facebook & Twitter sharing integrations, are a fundamental part of the RunKeeper.com experience; we’re opening up these forums to apps and devices that build on the Health Graph, to provide our 6MM+ community members with easy access to all the tools that integrate with RunKeeper.
The Health Graph is currently in closed alpha, but developers can sign up for the wait list through the partner portal.
Elite Affiliate ProgramWe’ve got even more good news for developers and device manufacturers who want to integrate with the Health Graph—we’re launching the Elite Affiliate Program, enabling developers to earn recurring subscription revenue by promoting RunKeeper Elite. Elite Affiliates can build existing RunKeeper Elite features into any app, or create new premium features, and earn a 50% commission on any sales their apps generate.
What End-Users Can ExpectWhat does this mean for the RunKeeper community? The Heath Graph allows users of any device/mobile app/web service that ties in with the Health Graph API to store all of their health and fitness information alongside their RunKeeper activity data. This currently includes Polar heart rate data, Garmin GPS activity data, Withings scale weight and body fat data, Fitbit steps, Zeo sleep data, and more. Not only will they have access to a more complete individual health and fitness history in one place, but they’ll also benefit from a variety of personalized apps, tailored to their needs.
Like anything else we develop, the plan is to rapidly iterate on the Health Graph API and the core RunKeeper.com system in the coming months. Stay tuned! Lots more to come.