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With new mobile health and fitness apps appearing on the market daily – and falling into anonymity just as quickly – two well-known app developers are joining forces to bolster their platform and establish some security.
Azumio, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of mobile biofeedback technologies and personal health applications, has announced the acquisition of SkyHealth, makers of several well-known apps, including Fitness Buddy and Glucose Buddy. Company officials say the merger gives the more than 15 health and fitness apps in SkyHealth's product portfolio more visibility and stability, while bringing new app development talent onboard at Azumio.
"The future of bringing mobile health applications to a wider audience is here, and starts by creating a single source for the best mobile health and fitness solutions," said SkyHealth CEO and founder Tom Xu – who will join Azumio as a partner and head of product development – in a July 20 press release. "Consumers can now use their phone to monitor heart rate, stress level, improve workout routines and sleeping behaviors and even control blood sugar levels. Now, with Azumio, we have the resources and experience to create a mobile health and fitness platform that will impact hundreds of millions of consumers."
"Smartphones are playing an increasingly important role in helping people improve their health and wellness, but success pivots around ease of access to new solutions – mass adoption will only result from building apps that catalyze motivation and increase user commitment to their health and fitness goals," added Bojan Bostjancic, Azumio's CEO, in the press release. "Both Azumio's and SkyHealth's mobile apps have seen massive adoption because we have been among the first to provide a simple solution to live a more healthy lifestyle, directly from your smartphone."
Azumio's mobile technology enables smartphones and tablets to draw user-specific data from sensors and hardware currently found in smartphones. For instance, Instant Heart Rate uses a smartphone camera and the same technique used in medical pulse oximeters to measure heart rate, while Stress Check measures the pulse rate and uses algorithms to determine heart rate variability. Stress Doctor, meanwhile, offers deep-breathing techniques to reduce stress levels.
The company has reported more than 25 million downloads of its apps, which include Instant Heart Rate, Stress Check, Stress Doctor and Sleep Time.
Based in El Cerrito, Calif., SkyHealth was launched in 2010 by Xu, a University of California Berkeley grad who put his medical school plans on hold "to concentrate on bringing groundbreaking mobile solutions to the diabetes market." Since its launch, Glucose Buddy has seen more than 10 million logs uploaded and has been profiled in most diabetes-themed publications. The more recently released Fitness Buddy app, which contains more than 1,700 exercises and 75 curated workouts, has been ranked in the top 5 paid health and fitness apps on iTunes.
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