Microsoft debuts mHealth platform, smartband

Microsoft is officially in the mHealth realm, debuting its Microsoft Health platform complete with a cloud service, app, 10-sensor smartband and industry partnerships with app developers and a national fitness chain.

"We see an opportunity to bring these devices and services together to allow you to combine the information they collect and use the power of the cloud to turn that data in to something more valuable," writes Microsoft Corporate Vice President Todd Holmdahl in a post on the Microsoft Blog.

The Microsoft Health platform lets users store health and fitness data collected via a Microsoft Health app, which is compatible with iOS, Windows Phone and Android systems, according to the post. It's also available now, while Apple fans still are waiting on the release of the Apple Watch. 

This is the first big mHealth move by Microsoft since earlier this year when it announced its Bing Health & Fitness Windows Phone app. Since then, however, some big rivals have made huge steps in the industry, including Google and its Fit platform as well as its mHealth-related contact lens; smartband and healthband makers Samsung and Fitbit, now debuting third and fourth generation products; and Apple, which spent the better part of the past two years developing its HealthKit system and Apple Watch device, which was announced in September.

Even BlackBerry made some moves this year, debuting a new OS just for medical devices this past summer. The titans are all scrambling to grab as much traction in a market predicted to $6.7 billion by the end of 2014.

The Microsoft Band allows users to measure heart rate, collect insight on calories burned, assess workout recovery time needed and review sleep patterns using what Microsoft is calling its Intelligence Engine. 

"Over time, you will have the choice to combine your fitness data with calendar and email information from Office as well as location-based information and more," Holmdahl said.

The Health platform and app is compatible with UP by Jawbone, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper. The band will also be used by Gold's Gym to create specific goal-based workouts.                     

For more information:
- read the blog post

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