Google arrived at the latest iteration of the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference to highlight the importance of crowdsourced data in fitness apps development. Mary Liz McCurdy, chief of Health and Fitness Apps at Google Play said on Monday that contemporary fitness apps are much more than simple logging tools that track basic activity history. Today, apps like Google Fit aren't just capable of activity tracking but also provide users with extremely personalized experiences that allow them to receive health, diet, and general lifestyle advice, McCurdy said. While the Mountain View-based tech giant is obviously primarily interested in promoting its own Google Fit, the company's official also illustrated her claims by noting how apps like Nike+ Training Club and Runtastic wouldn't exist in their present state if it wasn't for crowdsourced data.
Due to the latest advancements in the field, contemporary fitness apps can act like personalized fitness coaches that consumers are growing increasingly fond of, McCurdy said. Google's executive believes that many consumers already care a great deal about their health and are willing to commit both money and time to personal trainers, so digital fitness coaches are naturally attractive to them. Regardless of that belief, McCurdy noted how Google isn't trying to replace humans with its offerings, especially when it comes to health apps that are in no shape or form designed to serve as an alternative to an actual doctor. Instead, many of Google's health products were meant to serve people with existing, diagnosed conditions and can't replace doctor appointments. The Mountain View-based company is trying to design solutions that will help people stay informed about their health and not use them to avoid seeing a doctor, McCurdy explained.
Crowdsourcing data also enables a number of social elements of contemporary fitness apps, all of which ennoble the overall user experience and help people make better decisions regarding their health, Google's official said. Naturally, such solutions require users to provide companies like Google with a wide variety of personal data but that seemingly isn't an issue to most people seeing how major fitness apps are still gaining popularity.