Google and Samsung have partnered to create Health Connect, a platform and API (application programming interface) that gives developers a toolset to sync users’ health data across Android apps and devices. This should make it easier for users to keep track of their health and fitness data across platforms.
Once a user logs in, developers can collect their health data in an encrypted hub located on a user’s device. Google says users will have full control over what kind of data they share and which apps they share it with. If more than one app collects the same type of data, such as the steps taken, users can choose to share that data with one app instead of another. Health Connect supports more than 50 data types in a number of categories, including activity, body measurement, cycle tracking, nutrition, sleep and vital signs.
“We are working with Google and other partners to realize the full benefits and potential of Health Connect,” said TaeJong Jay Yang, executive vice president of Samsung, in a press release. “I am pleased to confirm that Samsung Health will also be using Health Connect later this year. With the consent of the users, this will allow app developers to take advantage of accurate and optimized data measured on Galaxy Watch for Samsung Health and also use it in their apps.”
Health Connect is currently in an open beta open to all Android developers. In addition to Samsung, Google is also working with the developers of MyFitnessPal, Leap Fitness and Withings on an early access program. Google Fit and Fitbit, owned by Google, will also use Health Connect, meaning the technology should be available in time for the Pixel Watch’s release later this year.
As my colleague Jon Porter points out, Google got where it is because of its open approach to its products, and the Health Connect API is just another example of Google’s willingness to partner with other companies. Unlike Samsung and Apple, Google doesn’t tend to force (or even push) users into its ecosystem — but with a Pixel Watch and Android tablet on the way, Google may need to start subtly pushing users toward its own products. if it wants users to buy into its growing line of Pixel devices.