WebMD launches Healthy Target, its own health-improvement platform

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Ahead of iOS 8’s public launch this Fall, WebMD today introduced Healthy Target, its own health improvement program for the iPhone that aggregates data from various biometric sensors and makes it understandable and actionable.

It sounds much like HealthKit, Apple’s new platform in iOS 8 which gives makers of health/fitness apps and accessories official APIs to store users’ performance metrics and health data into a system-wide database accessible by the stock Health app and third-party software…

WebMD’s own initiative collects data from various activity trackers, wireless scales and glucose meters to deliver “tailored, physician-reviewed, contextually relevant content and motivational tips” to individuals looking to develop sustainable health-conscious habits.

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The feature is available through WebMD’s newly refreshed iPhone app, which can now gather your steps, sleep patterns, weight and blood glucose data from accessories by such names as Entra, Fitbit, Jawbone and Withings.

And if you own an iPhone 5s, the app lets you optionally track your steps using the handset’s power-efficient M7 chip.

Key features of WebMD Healthy Target include:

• Goal Setting – Healthy Target enables users to choose from six goals: 1) lose weight 2) eat healthier 3) be more active 4) control blood sugar 5) sleep better 6) feel better. Once goals are selected, Healthy Target recommends proven habits that can help users reach their goals. Goals can be added or changed at any time.

• Habit Intensity & Tracking – Each habit has three levels: easy, medium, and hard. Users start a new habit at the easy level — each habit lasting for one week – track their progress, and use reminders to help ensure they do their habits on a regular basis. They can change or restart their habits at any time. As they move further along the program, their healthy habits and wellness continue to grow.

• Data Understanding – Providing a complete summary of a user’s biometric data, Healthy Target incorporates easy-to-understand visuals so users can clearly see changes in their sleep, step counts, weight, and blood sugar over time.

• Progress Report & Inspiration – In addition to daily snapshots that monitor progress, users are provided weekly recaps analyzing their success towards achieving their goals as determined by the data they provide. In addition to the assessment, users will receive personalized tips to encourage them to become more successful moving forward.

According to a media release, WebMD Healthy Target will help patients with chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes and obesity to better manage their health parameters.

A broader audience interested in achieving their fitness goals or more generally living a healthier lifestyle should benefit from Healthy Target as well.

And, by the time iOS 8 launches this Fall, WebMD will have probably updated their iOS app with support for HealthKit so it could sync its database with the stock Health app.