Fitness Tracking Apps and Cell Phone Batteries

One of the big challenges of any mobile health app is how much it drains your battery. While processing power, storage, and pretty much every other technology in a cell phone has improved the one nut we haven’t yet cracked is batteries. Although, I’m hopeful that we’re close to cracking the innovation in batteries soon too.

Until we do, battery usage is always a concern with mobile health applications. This is particularly true with passive activity tracking apps. They can suck your battery dry if they’re not designed properly and we all know how quickly apps get removed from our phones if they’re responsible for reducing our battery life.

One passive fitness tracker, Human, has tackled this problem head on. Here’s how Techcrunch describes their efforts to minimize Human’s drain on your battery:

The app now relies as much as possible on the motion coprocessor in your iPhone 5s, 6 or 6s. Human now has 50 percent less battery impact. And if you really need to get the most out of your phone, there is a new low power mode to reduce battery usage by up to 90 percent.

Until we solve the batter problems we all face, we’re going to see more effort spent on how we manage battery usage. We saw the same problem with the original Google Glass. The battery on the original Google Glass was about 30 minutes of active usage (ie. video). I read one report that Google Glass 2.0 is going to last 22 hours by comparison.

What other battery improvements do you see happening to help mobile health applications?

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, 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,, 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.