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Under Armour To Utilize IBM’s Watson In Health App

IBM's Watson, once a Jeopardy celebrity, will now be part of a health care app.

CREDIT: Flickr user Atomic Taco.

IBM’s Watson has made appearances in the health care, manufacturing and education industries, and now it’s testing the waters in a new field–mobile apps.

Under Armour announced at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 6 that it would partner with IBM and use the supercomputer’s technology in its health and fitness app, UA Record. Originally released a year ago to track only steps and workouts, the app was relaunched at CES with the ability to display a user’s activity, nutrition, fitness, sleep, and how he or she is feeling mentally.

Analyzing that data is where Watson’s technology comes in.

By analyzing a user’s activity, nutrition, and sleep, Watson will be able to provide comparisons to other, anonymous members in the Under Armour Community who are similar, showing statistics such as average weight, average resting heart rate, and the average number of steps taken per day. Those who use the app will also be able to look at how long other members’ average workouts are and their sleep patterns.

The workout part of the app will give users customizable programs based on trends in behavior and performance, as well as athlete recommendations about fitness and diet to meet a certain goal. Enhanced nutrition management will allow for quicker input of food items by searching through images instead of manually entering meals.

Additional plans for the app have Under Armour incorporating weather into workouts using a combination of Watson’s technology and the Weather Channel mobile app. IBM purchased all the digital aspects of the Weather Channel in October 2015.

The app will recommend a time to go running for users if data trends show people run longer in certain temperatures. Data from mobile calendars will also be used to calculate the best times to workout, and schedules of local gyms will be included as well.

The new features will be added to UA Record over the next year. User data will only be used in the app by Watson and will not be released to IBM.

Matt Wotus is a reporter for Generation Progress, covering health and health care. Follow him on Instagram at @mawotus_27.

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