Google Quietly Re-Enters mHealth Market

12-18-2012 1-15-56 AM

Google’s newest release of Google Now, an Android-only Google app that compiles data from various sources and presents it to users in a streamlined report format, has added an a new feature: an activity tracker.

The tracker uses the phone itself to passively monitor activity such as walking, running, and cycling. This information is then displayed in a monthly activity summary which breaks out overall levels of activity and compares it to data from previous months.

The change was delivered with the December update of Google Now, but the added functionality was not announced by Google and was referenced in the blog post outlining the new features that were being delivered within the Google Now update. This small enhancement marks a decidedly quiet, even cautious, return to the mHealth marketplace for Google following the highly publicized 2011 failure of Google Health.

While Google Health did not have an activity tracker available, it did provide an API that allowed integration of third-party data sources such as Fitbit and Withings weight scale.

Welcome back to the game, Google.

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