Ptolomey’s Takeaways: I got the Moves like…….FaceBook?

by | Apr 26, 2014 | 0 comments

atg_JPphoto (2)by Joanna Ptolomey

All morning I have had that Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera song in my head, coupled with excessive dancing around the house. So catchy – and all because FaceBook have bought the fitness app, Moves, from the Finnish startup ProtoGeo.

Moves is a very popular smartphone app, with 4million downloads on iPhone and Android. It runs in the background on users’s phones, using location data to build up a profile of activities daily. It has an element of lifelogging, thus  complementing the usual fitness only elements of other fitness apps.

Apart from bustin’ some moves around my house today, the news about Moves sparked my ever growing interest in the collection of personal data via consumer health apps. Unlike say a mobile medical device that must be regulated around personal information and safety by the MHRA in the UK and the FDA in the USA.

According to ProtoGeo, the Moves app will continue to operate as a standalone product. That should please the many millions that already use Moves and were happy for their data to be stored. But many may not feel the same about a having a long term FaceBook relationship.

It is an interesting time in the health market with consumer and regulated health devices and platforms. In the UK we have seen a recent frenzy of comment over the lack of transparency around sharing patient medical records. Many people in England felt un-informed about who could access their medical record, the level of anonymity and who could access their data for other requirements. Yet I find it contradictory that many people across the planet feel not so stressed to share aspects, granted not as personal as a health record, about their health via consumer apps without much thought given to where their content will ultimately be shared or end up.

Health data is a trend worth watching. In fact the health sector is transforming before our eyes.

In March details started emerging that Apple are creating an app called Healthbook. It is rumoured to be not just a clearinghouse for data but with developments for medical like devices – for example monitoring glucose, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation. So it sounds like there will be a regulatory aspect too. And why not – the health consumer market is growing and had a huge showing in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. The market is scaling up and the Economist reported that US venture capitalists put $564 million US into the m-health start up market.

Consumer health and regulated health are beginning to merge with the help of technology and our fascination with collecting and sharing content. How we feel about our content ‘having a co-mingle’ across other platforms in the short/medium term will be no doubt cause a lot of chatter. But this trend is set to continue longer term in my opinion.

Just in case you are wondering I didn’t upload my ‘moves like jagger’ dance workout into a fitness app for measurement. But phew I’ll take that cup of tea and shortbread biscuit now.


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