Precor opens gym equipment data to app developers, payors

By: Jonah Comstock | Sep 18, 2013        

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Precor PrevaFitness equipment maker Precor launched a new developer portal for its open API, allowing interested parties — including fitness clubs, mobile app developers, and payers — to freely access and use data from Preva, Precor’s cloud-based engagement platform. Workout data from Precor machines is the bulk of the Preva data, but it also includes lifetime metrics, goal types, goal progress, and rewards earned through Preva’s mobile app and website.

“It’s a way for us to hear back from the rest of the world around what they would like to do with those APIs,” Dave Flynt, Precor’s Director of User Experience told MobiHealthNews. “You build tech with an intent in mind, but you find that if you do your job well it supports other uses that become powerful as well. Really, the portal is a way for us to give that complete open access to anyone who asks for it and get feedback from that community.”

Flynt said the company has made the API available previously, but on a case-by-case basis. For instance, the company partnered with EveryMove earlier this year using these same APIs.

“We’re already beginning to see people request [the data] with a wide variety of interests,” Flynt said. “There’s a university coalition that might be interested in tracking activities of its members to track a challenge across the member colleges. We’re already seeing people with really interesting ideas. Our goal is to make the friction to access that content as low as possible.”

According to Flynt, there are three interested parties who might use the portal. One is mobile app developers like EveryMove or MyFitnessPal, which typically look to integrate fitness data from as many different streams as possible. Another is the clubs and gyms that have purchased Precor machines. By pulling data from their machines, with permission from individual users, they can sponsor different kinds of drives and contests or display realtime leaderboards.

The third group that expressed interest is “service providers”. This group includes payors and self-insured employers, who can benefit from knowing whether employees are really using a gym membership, for instance. It also might include clinics or healthcare providers.

Precor isn’t the only exercise company that’s looking to extend its data reach beyond the walls of the gym. NetPulse has a web and mobile platform called NetPulse One which is integrated with MyFitnessPal, Aetna Carepass, and Fitbit. Johnson Technology’s Matrix Fitness equipment also integrates with MyFitnessPal.

“We don’t believe the data we’re capturing is ours,” Flynt said. “It’s the exerciser’s. We have an obligation to make it available so they can make it serve them best. We believe that our platform will grow the more it’s used by third parties to deliver value outside of Preva-controlled product experiences.”

  • Brian

    You seemed to forget a company with the first true open platform. LifeFitness