Today in APIs: The Quantified Self API, Kaiser Permanente Open Health API and 9 New APIs

Greg Bates
Jun. 03 2013, 02:00PM EDT

Foursquare co-founder launches API on self. Kaiser Permanente starts open health API. Plus: facial recognition on Google Glass banned - but developers persist, WSO2 enables federated access to APIs across multiple entities, and 9 new APIs.

The Naveen API: Foursquare Co-founder Tracking Vitals, Publicly

Like many people who start tracking New Years resolutions, Naveen Selvadurai, the co-founder of Foursquare, has used spreadsheets, digital trackers and pen and paper to record everything from workouts to novels read. (He has a favorite for measuring health stats, the Withings Scale.) But unlike so many of us who rarely make it past March, Selvadurai has wracked up an impressive set of data: 75 must-read books, 21,000 pages read over two years in high school, beating his goal of 10,000 pages a year.

That's an impressive testament to the principle that if you do two simple things, set a goal and measure progress, you can transform the quantity of what you can achieve and, not surprisingly, the quality as well. (He says he counts some of the classics among his favorite stories. My quality of life changed in a different direction; Great Expectations has triggered an allergy to Dickens.)

One of the problems with keeping records on a daily basis on personal habits and goals is probably a factor in why so many of us quit, only to start anew and quit again. It's a problem he writes about in his blog: records are scattered everywhere and in different forms, and to get a clear picture, you need them in one spot. That problem just cries out for an API solution. He has posted his at api.naveen.

Kaiser Permanente Launches Open Health API

Sense a theme here yet? By chance, the same day as the naveen api is released comes news from Kaiser Permanente launching an Open Health API that eventually will measure--you guessed it--self tracking health data.

According to Jonah comstock in mobi health news, right now the app simply locates Kaiser Permanente health facilities and provides their open hours. But more is planned in the form of a health interchange:

“We hope that individuals gain greater benefit from their devices by understanding how sharing and combining data may help them make healthy choices throughout the day,” the FAQ states. “For example, APIs may allow a developer to create a mobile app that combines individually generated data from a consumer device (e.g. Jawbone UP, Fitbit Flex and BodyMedia Core) with locations of restaurants to recommend food choices based on calories burned throughout the day. Another example may allow care providers better insight into their patients’ health habits by providing real and self-reported levels of exercise between doctor’s visits.”

Just in case there's a worry about personal health data, Kaiser Permanente says it will not let the API share their patient's personal health information. Public research reports will also be available through the API. Comstock suggests that Fitbit and Jawbone may become early partners.

There are important differences between the aims of the api.naveen and the Kaiser Permanente project. Selvaduria's API is totally unconnected to a corporate agenda, at least for now. The Open Health API, on the other hand, promises to make it possible to build commercial apps. For example, imagine that "Once you’ve finished your meal, a device synced to your app reports your blood-sugar levels and reminds you to pick up insulin, then tells you the nearest Kaiser Permanente pharmacy where you can pick it up. Interchange by Kaiser Permanente is the beginning of that possibility." That's not necessarily a bad thing. But even if both APIs get commercialized in some way, their business designs and revenue streams will likely be very different.

API News You Shouldn't Miss

9 New APIs

Today we had 9 new APIs added to our API directory including a 3d face recognition service, a traffic data service, a digital marketing solutions service, an open data search service and a voice over ip for gaming service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

Animetrics Face RecognitionAnimetrics Face Recognition API: Animetrics develops 3D face recognition applications and face identity management solutions. The Animetrics Face Recognition API can be used to detect human faces in pictures and match them against a set of known faces. The API can also add or remove a subject from a searchable gallery, and add or remove a face from a subject. Requests are made via HTTP GET/POST. Responses are JSON formatted. API Key required.

DMV TREDSDMV TREDS API: TREDS (Traffic Records Electronic Data Systems) is a Virginia State program that discloses accurate, contemporary, and pertinent information about highway crashes, injuries and other road incidents. The TREDS API allows users to query for specific information from the database. The service uses SOAP calls. An account is required with service.

iPostiPost API: iPost provides digital marketing services, document management systems, and secure email for businesses. The iPost API allows other systems to import, export, or control the iPost iMM, an on-demand connected digital marketing platform. The XML-RPC API is secured by HTTPS encryption.

mingle.iomingle.io API: Mingle.io connects developers with various public and private data sets, enabling them to enrich their applications with quality information and share their applications’ data with the world via the mingle.io data mashup platform.

The mingle.io API enables developers to query the mingle.io Open Data sets using a comprehension syntax. The API accepts a JSON object via HTTP POST.

MumbleBoxesMumbleBoxes API: Mumble is an open source voice over IP system specifically designed for gaming. MumbleBoxes is a Mumble server hosting service designed by gamers.

The MumbleBoxes API provides a RESTful interface for developers to automate account management. Exposed resources include lists of channels, servers and users, server details, server management, messaging, and setting management. JSON and XML formatted responses are supported. API Key required.

QuantopianQuantopian API: Quantopian is a algorithmic trading platform that was developed for investors and statisticians to build, test, and execute different trading strategies. The site provides 11 years of US equity data for uses to back test trading strategies. The Quantopian API allows users to check the trade log, view orders, get open orders, get orders, cancel orders, check portfolio positions, and call for snapshots of portfolios. The service uses SOAP calls.

Quttera Website Malware Scanner Quttera Website Malware Scanner API: Quttera is a set of investigation engines designed to detect security vulnerability exploits hidden within legitimate web-site content.
The Quttera Website Malware Scanner API provides developers with a RESTful interface to Quttera’s Web Investigation System data. The API allow a 3rd party application to perform a “blacklisting check” or run a real-time scan of a domain via HTTP requests. Responses may be JSON, XML, or YAML formatted. API Key required.

SignNowSignNow API: SignNow provides users from most countries with an easy way to sign legally-binding documents online. Getting an account allows users to personalize and save their signature as well as organize, track, and save all of their signed documents. Because SignNow is accessible from mobile devices as well as PCs, users can access their documents from anywhere, at any time. SignNow's functions are made available to developers programmatically via REST API.

ValidicValidic API: Validic helps healthcare businesses connect with dozens of mobile health applications - apps such as Fitbit, RunKeeper, MapMyRide, and iHealth - and offer them to their users. When end-users enter data into an app, that data gets sent to the healthcare business's system. This allows the business to collect useful information from their customers and improve their healthcare services without incurring the cost of developing and maintaining their own system of app connections. Integration with Validic is accomplished using its RESTful API.

Greg Bates A writer for Programmableweb since 2012, Greg is a freelance writer and a maniacal editor of dissertations and term papers. - Follow me on Google+

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