Polar opens its API for developers to access health data

Polar opens its API for developers to access health data
Ryan is an editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter: @Gadget_Ry

Polar has been steadily growing in the wearables space and is now taking the next step by opening up its API to third-party developers.

While larger competitors such as Fitbit have opened their API for some time, it’s made little sense for Polar until this point.

Polar has a wide range of health-related products on the market including smartwatches, fitness trackers, bike computers, and chest straps. In 1982, the company launched the world's first wireless, wearable heart rate monitor.

Data from these devices can be extremely useful and take wearables from something of a gimmick to something which offers real benefits. Providing data to prove you are keeping healthy, for example, could reduce your insurance premiums.

With user permission, developers can access data from Polar Open AccessLink.

AccessLink will provide developers with data from Polar Flow including weight, height, exercise intensity, daily activity, and more. Developers can only retrieve new data for now, but the API could be opened further to retrieve historical data and/or have write access in the future.

If your app is designed with fitness in mind, and interpreting data to improve performance, the data could offer tangible benefits to users.

"Heart rate helps me to better gauge workouts and fatigue levels during training blocks,” says Molly Huddle, world-renowned runner and Olympian. “I like to check Polar Flow after a workout or recovery run and see, relative to how I felt, how the heart rate was doing."

"Some days I feel terrible, but it's just sore legs or allergies; the heart rate is normal. Other days I feel ok and push the pace, and after looking at the heart rate data see that I went too hard, leaving the zone I wanted to train in.

To get started, you will need a free Polar Flow account and to register as a third party developer.

Do you plan on exploring Polar’s new API? Let us know in the comments.

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