Today I read on TechCrunch about the $11.75 Million Basis raised to build what they are calling a “health data hub”. It states that Basis is working to create a central repository for our data from other devices to flow into so it can glean insights by analyzing all of the data in one location. The story goes on to quote Basis CEO Jeff Holove who states that “The platform we’re building is intended to be open. There’s no reason we couldn‘t have complementary devices contribute data and make habits out of that data.”
The news was also announced via the Basis blog and a press release. The blog post didn’t make any mention of this new data hub and the press release just covers some high level details around the announcement of new hire Ethan Fassett and what his role will be. From the release:
In his role, Ethan will leverage his extensive technology experience to drive Basis’product development, with a focus on the convergence of contextual data and wearable technology. Building on Basis’ biosensor approach to physiology and behavior change, Ethan and the team will continue to make the Basis system more intelligent through an enhanced understanding of user behavior patterns and intention, sensor-captured information and other data based insights… said Jef Holove, CEO, Basis. “With this new support, we’ll be able to continue to build on our strong foundation and offer a great experience for many more people looking to build healthy habits.”
This is pretty interesting news and hopefully a sign that wearable data tracking device makers may choose to play nice with the data that they capture. But I’m a little skeptical because I’ve seen this play out already. In the early days of social networking services, most were open and allowed you to easily access your data. But in recent years there’s been a clampdown and we’ve seen many services shut down access. This has been a result of them identifying the value in creating data silos and being able to monetize them. We’ll have to wait and see exactly what “open” means in the case of what Basis is doing but hopefully it will be working on a read/write API to allow data to flow in and out of their “health data hub”. It’s an interesting time now as the apps and services emerging for our health and fitness data are maturing and hopefully they won’t take the same path that social networks have.