MASSDEVICE ON CALL — The consumer health tracking trifecta is nearly complete as Google (NSDQ:GOOG) is expected to join rivals Apple (NSDQ:AAPL) and Samsung (LON:BC94) in unveiling a new personal health data management platform, according to a Forbes article citing "multiple sources with knowledge of the company’s plans."
Google is expected to unveil its "Google Fit" platform later this month during its Google I/O conference, it’s version of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which took place earlier this month. Google I/O is scheduled to take place on June 25 and 26 in San Francisco, and will be available to stream live online, according to the conference website.
Anonymous sources told Forbes that Google Fit is the Android phone software’s answer to HealthKit, providing aggregating of health-related data gathered through various apps and wearable devices. From the article:
Google Fit will aggregate data through open APIs, instruction sets that allow apps to share information, and will also announce partnerships with wearable device makers at its I/O conference, Forbes understands. One source with knowledge of Google’s plans said Google Fit would allow a wearable device that measures data like steps or heart rate to interface with Google’s cloud-based services, and become part of the Google Fit ecosystem. Google could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.
Personal data tracking has become a major draw this year, with the recent revelation of Apple’s "HealthKit" project and "Health" app, which aim to become a mobile silo for personal health and fitness information, including patient-generated data and information generated through various physician portals. Some analysts expect Apple to release a much-rumored wearable "iWatch" with personal sensors very soon. Analysts with RBC Capital said in a note to investors this month that Apple may announce a wearable product in October or November this year, and that such a technology represents a "material opportunity" for the company.
Earlier this year Samsung unveiled its own digital health strategy, announcing an open wearable sensor hardware and software platform that it hopes to encourage innovators to come up with new ways to help consumers track their bodies. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S5 smartphone comes with a built-in heart rate sensor, which nearly got the company into some hot water with regulators in South Korea. Samsung president and chief strategy officer called digital health the "single greatest opportunity of our generation," adding that the company is on the lookout for new ways to meld technology and health.
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