Google will launch Google Fit at the Google I/O conference for developers on June 25th and 26th 2014. Google has yet to confirm whether Google Fit will be a service build into the next version of Android, or a standalone app that Android users can download independently.
Google Fit will collect and aggregate data from fitness trackers and health-related apps. An inside source 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 Fit is expected to synchronise with Android Wear, a version of Google’s Android mobile operating system that’s built for smart watches and other wearable devices. Through synchronisation a person who’s wearing multiple wearable devices that run on Android Wear could have disparately collected data like steps, heart rate and temperature, aggregated by Google Fit as a central collection point.
Such a service will compete against Apple’s HealthKit, the health platform that will be included in the iOS 8 launch in spring and Samsung’s Sami, a health platform that also collects health information from devices and apps.
The rise of consumer-orientated eHealth services and products will benefit those in less developed countries, such as South Africa, by empowering users to be in charge of their own health and wellness. Google Fit and the other big-brand health platforms will motivate consumers to stay healthy and active by recording their workout progress and vitals. The health platforms could also be used to store health data, which could be referred to during medical consultations.
Google Fit will be the second attempt by Google to enter the health field. Their Google Health platform was shut down in 2012 due to consumers not wanting to aggregate their data. According to Derek Newell, CEO of digital health care platform Jiff, “Consumers want information. They want meaning, rewards and a feedback loop.”