Jawbone Acquires BodyMedia and Launches Partner API

Today it was announced that Jawbone has acquired BodyMedia. Here’s an excerpt on the acquisition and announcement from pandydaily.

Today Jawbone, the company that makes the wearable “quantified self” band UP, issued two announcements: it’s rolling out an API so the device can integrate with other apps and connected devices relating to health and wellness. It’s also acquiring BodyMedia, which makes an FDA-approved weight-loss device called FIT that’s been used on the TV show “The Biggest Loser.”

The BodyMedia acquisition is a talent and intellectual property grab – it has 87 patents in its IP portfolio – but it will retain its name, continue producing the FIT, and keep its office in Pittsburgh open. The company would not disclose any other terms of the sale. The acquisition is a smart move in building out the product’s abilities in the future. BodyMedia has a medical bent, so surely future iterations of UP will pay more attention to things like disease monitoring.

But the really intriguing news is the API. It will allow partner apps to be able to tap into a user’s Jawbone data so she can find out more about her health and wellness habits. For example, a user can log onto MapMyFitness and view workout data in UP. Or he can step on a Withing scale – another connected device – and import his weight into up and see it in the context of sleeping and eating habits.

I think the article is right that the biggest asset that Jawbone is acquiring is the patent portfolio of BodyMedia. The other hard part is that I think the BodyMedia brand is better known than the Jawbone brand. So, the company will have a tough decision in how to go forward. It will take some time for them to work through the existing inventories and merge the product lines. It will be fun to watch.

I find the Jawbone API a little disappointing since it’s just a partner API. I know they say their intent is to eventually open up the Jawbone data to anyone, but I don’t understand why they wouldn’t do this from the start.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.