A key aspect of the Velmio platform is the ability to sync data from your wearable device to receive tailored health insights. In this article we’re going to discuss how this feature works and how you should set up your device for the best results. If you don’t yet own a smartwatch, take a look at our article comparing popular wearable brands.

At present, we’ve rolled out the Velmio app for iPhone devices (Android version coming soon!), so we’re going to start by discussing the role of Apple HealthKit. 

You’ve probably noticed the Apple Health App on your phone (the one with the heart icon), which organizes all your health data from various sources in one convenient place. What you may not know is that there is a system underlying the Health App called HealthKit, which allows app developers to integrate your health data for a seamless user experience. In addition, the ResearchKit and CareKit platforms help researchers and medical professionals develop groundbreaking health technologies. 

HealthKit was announced by Apple in 2014 and has become the industry standard for developing health apps on iOS devices. The platform has evolved over the years and is now used by the majority of fitness and health apps on iOS. Anything from MyFitnessPal, to Strava and Nike Training Club use HealthKit, and you can probably find many more examples of apps on your phone that utilize this amazing technology.

How does HealthKit work with Velmio?

When using certain features of the Velmio app for the first time you will be asked to grant permission for the app to access HealthKit. This provides several key benefits:

  • All your health data is maintained in one convenient place, no matter how many different apps and wearable devices you choose to use. This means that whenever you want to see a quick overview of all your health data sources you can simply check the Apple Health App
  • Any health data stored to HealthKit via other apps and devices is made available to Velmio. This helps Velmio provide you with the most accurate pregnancy health advice tailored to your individual circumstances
  • The standard data storage format provided by HealthKit provides consistency in the way that data is stored (through standard variable names, measurement units, etc). A significant benefit of this approach is that it eliminates the possibility of calculation errors occurring (and as scientists and developers this means a lot to us!)
  • Finally, HealthKit gives you flexibility and choice. For example, if you already have an existing nutrition tracking app that you like, then you can still use this with Velmio. As long as your preferred app integrates with HealthKit (check by taking a look at the app description), Velmio will still be able to access your nutrition data to calculate pregnancy health insights!

How should you set up your device to get the best results?

You must follow these steps to ensure that your HealthKit data is visible to Velmio:

  • When using the Velmio app, if you encounter popup screens asking you to “Enable” the Health App, please make sure you do enable it if you want Velmio to generate your personalized pregnancy health insights.
  • If you own a wearable device make sure that it syncs data to HealthKit. If your data is not available in HealthKit then it won’t be available to Velmio. For users with wearable devices that aren’t compatible with Apple Health, we advise you to search the App Store for apps that can sync your data to Apple Health.

Apple HealthKit is not available on Android devices, so smartwatch integration is going to function a bit differently for Android users. Development for Velmio Android is currently underway, so stay tuned for updates!