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Corporate wellness, meet Limeade and the Health Graph

November 3, 2011

I’m very pleased to continue our series of Health Graph partner profiles with a discussion with Erick Rivas (@erickrivas) of Limeade (@limeade). Limeade is a leading corporate wellness provider that recently announced support for RunKeeper and other Health Graph API (@healthgraphapi) partner devices and apps in their Limeade Open App & Device Platform. Read on to learn more about how Limeade is using the Health Graph to make the workplace healthier and more fun too!

Bill Day: What do you do for Limeade?

Erick Rivas: I’m CTO and VP of Product Development at Limeade.

BD: How does your work at Limeade help corporations and their people?

ER: People spend a lot of time at work. And, habits at work — what you eat, how active you are, how you manage stress, etc. — have a huge effect on health and happiness. We help reinforce and change company culture in ways that promote health, happiness and productivity.

BD: That is a fantastic mission! How do you take advantage of the Health Graph API in your work?

ER: There is a lot of innovation going on in the area of fitness devices and apps. Users want to leverage best-in-class fitness devices and apps they already use and have that activity automatically count towards the rewards and incentives that are part of their company’s worksite wellness program.

For example, I took my daughter for a trick-or-treating “walk” of 3 miles around our neighborhood last night using RunKeeper and this morning, via our Health Graph integration, I automatically got 1 point for that as part of the walking challenge that I am participating in at Limeade. Employees can receive health insurance premium deductions, Gift Cards, be entered into a raffle for an iPad, and so on when certain points thresholds are met.

BD: How do you see this partnership with RunKeeper benefiting individual employees at the companies you’re working with?

ER: Our integration via the Health Graph API gives RunKeeper users a way to connect with others at their company in a social context. It gives Limeade users a fun way to track their physical activity using the fitness app or device of their choice.

BD: When a user starts using RunKeeper capabilities via the Health Graph integration in Limeade, what specifically happens behind the scenes?

ER: Upon authorization by the user (using OAuth), we are downloading/syncing with all Fitness Activity types and associated units (miles, calories, minutes) that are supported by the Health Graph API.

BD: Any thoughts on the overall strategy we’re taking with the Health Graph and the developer community?

ER: I really like the vision and direction of the Health Graph in providing an open way for users to store, manage and share historical health data from multiple providers.

BD: If you could request any new feature from the Health Graph, what would it be? How would you use it?

ER: I’d like to be able to distinguish between activities that were recorded by a device versus self-reported activities in the activity feed that is returned from the Health Graph API without having to parse through the GPS data.

Also, I’d like to be able know what the source of the device data is in cases where the user is not using the RunKeeper app (say they were using a partner device from Fitbit, Polar or Garmin). That way, we could not only show that you had (say) burned 10,000 calories in the last two weeks as part of your company’s Biggest Loser weight maintenance challenge, but also break that down by type of device.

BD: Thanks for the suggestions and requests, we appreciate them very much. What’s next for Limeade and your use of the Health Graph?

ER: We follow an Agile Development approach at Limeade and as a result we are deploying product improvements once a month.

In the near term, we will be improving the visualization of self-improvement information (activity, biometrics) and social features on the site.

Pulling additional data types that are stored in the Health Graph outside of physical/fitness activities (nutrition, weight, blood glucose levels, etc.) is something we will be supporting as well.

BD: Is there anything else we should know about you and your customers’ use of Limeade?

ER: I trust that a lot of Limeade users will be excited about the integration with RunKeeper and the Health Graph API. And I look forward to feedback on ways that we can make it even better!

Cross-posted from RunKeeper‘s Health Graph developer blog.

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