Health IT

Microsoft will shut down its Health Dashboard site and Band apps

On May 31, Microsoft will pull the plug on its Health Dashboard site and remove its Band applications from the Microsoft Store, Google Play and Apple App store.

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Microsoft will shutter its Health Dashboard site and remove its Band applications from the Microsoft Store, Google Play and Apple App store on May 31, 2019, according to an FAQ page on its website.

Users of the Microsoft Band, the tech giant’s smartwatch and fitness tracker, can still use their devices, but web-connected features will not be available. Band users will still be able to record and track health information like steps and heart rate; record activity data like runs and bike rides; track sleep; and set alarms.

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Those utilizing the Microsoft Health Dashboard can export their data using the site’s export tools until May 31.

Additionally, certain Band users will be able to get a refund. Eligible refund recipients either have a Band that’s covered under limited warranty or are active users (meaning those who have worn the Band on their wrist and completed a data sync from the Band to the Health Dashboard between December 1, 2018 and March 1, 2019).

Eligible Band 1 owners can get $79.99, while eligible Band 2 owners can get $175. All refunds must be claimed by August 30, 2019.

Microsoft originally unveiled the Band in October 2014 and revealed a second generation model the next year, according to The Verge. By the fall of 2016, the company discontinued sales of the product.

Though Microsoft pulled the plug on its fitness tracker, other well-known players in the wearables space have been making advancements.

Earlier this year, Fitbit quietly launched two devices designed for health plans, employers and health systems. The tools — called Fitbit Inspire and Fitbit Inspire HR — have capabilities such as activity and sleep tracking, as well as smartphone connected notifications and movement reminders. The HR also has additional abilities around heart rate and location tracking.

A recent Bloomberg report stated Apple has been testing sleep tracking features for its Apple Watch, with a potential rollout by 2020.

And Garmin has its own plan to take on the competition. It’s pursuing its own clinical trials with the University of Kansas in an effort to prove out its capabilities in conditions like sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation detection. Garmin also signed deals last year with remote monitoring and analytics company Actigraph and research device company Fitabase to boost the use of its products in academic and pharmaceutical research.

Photo: exdez, Getty Images