Polar recently announced ANT+ broadcast and transmission capabilities are available in its most recent sensor products. ANT+ technology can broadcast alongside Bluetooth Smart via its software development kit. IT pros probably didn’t expect Polar’s SDK release to be next step in the company’s long-term business strategy. The step marks an inflection point in the health technology market.
The way large corporations pivot to stay relevant among startups with a honed craft and faster execution is changing. Healthcare and fitness technology industries, in particular, more frequently announce SDKs. Developers use SDKs for their apps and streamlined data to make healthcare information more accessible to consumers and medical staff.
Polar, a fitness technology organization, can use its SDK to compete with the broader market, including Garmin and Fitbit. This reinforces the trend that dominant companies must be a leader in both hardware and software to stay relevant in today’s market. Polar has been an industry leader for years, even as competitors shifted from hardware to software and put pressure on Polar to conform and release a kit.
To survive the wave of innovation, organizations must allow healthcare solution providers and developers to accelerate time-to-market using interoperable hardware and software to capture and analyze data. Developers can use integrated technology with sensors, network and data infrastructure to focus on their specific domains. They abstract sensors from the application through a common protocol, which simplifies integration with multiple sensors. The protocol handles reliable data transfers between the sensor and application, such as during a network failure, instead of the developer coding it himself.
Hardware access and data connectivity with a single platform solves a variety of issues for developers, so they can focus on their specific domain. Just as open systems and APIs accelerated the development of applications in the computer IT industry, the same is happening in the medical world. Hardware access and data connectivity is the first critical step toward a new world of more compelling, cost-effective and widely accessible medical applications.
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