Fitbit chosen for US health study

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The Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) runs part of the All of Us project and it selected Fitbit products for the program after reviewing the wearables market and, importantly, the biomedical research field. A recent study found that Fitbit products were the most-used wearables in biomedical research, accounting for 89 percent of published work featuring wearables, 83 percent of clinical trials that used them and 95 percent of NIH-funded research utilizing wearable technology. They’ve been used in over 470 published studies so far. “The Fitbit devices selected track a combination of physical activity, sleep, and heart rate parameters,” Eric Topol, Founder and Director of STSI, said in a statement. “The popularity of Fitbit devices among millions of Americans, combined with their ease of use, including multi-day battery life and broad compatibility with smartphones, made Fitbit a natural choice for this pilot program.” More at Engadget.

I have said it many times- Apple could be much more ambitious and all-encompassing in this area. It has the hardware, but the software is far too conservative. It feels to me that Apple has the hardware sorted and the software is of very good quality, but that Fitbit has greater coverage in the things people want to track such as calories and weight management.

It could well be that this is Windows vs Mac all over again and that watchOS will eventually become better, just like macOS is, but retain a smaller market share.

I can no longer recommend MailChimp

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Only problem is… after years of protecting internet users from unwanted newsletter subscriptions, MailChimp has had a change of heart.

Last week it quietly (I only found out by logging into my account, I never – ironically – received an email advisory from them) revealed that it would be switching its customers’ mailing lists to “single opt-in” rather than “double opt-in”… More here.

There is only one reason to do this and it isn’t a good one.

Google: this is a disgrace!

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I think we need to have a discussion about how Google’s burger emoji is placing the cheese underneath the burger, while Apple puts it on top.

Tweeted by Thomas BaekdalThanks to Russ.

Good point from Tom, however- Yeah, cheese goes over the burger, but doesn’t the lettuce go on top too with the tomato?

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Google also does not know how beer works. Tweeted by Thomas Fuchs.

I do realise that these are minor problems in 2017, but they made me chuckle.

How Much Are You Giving Away?

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As part of the Vitality program, which is designed to offer perks to policyholders who live healthy lifestyles, employees at those companies could buy a $350 Apple Watch for just $25, and earn an almost-free watch along with insurance discounts by meeting exercise goals over a two year period. On Monday, the company announced that it was expanding the program availability to all participants of the Vitality program. The program, the company said, had been a tremendous success, with about half of policyholders meeting monthly activity goals.

The thing is, even health data like how many steps you’ve taken can be pretty sensitive, revealing information… More at Gizmodo.

I can think of few things I would rather not do.