Brainstorm future of the Health app

The nextcloud health app provides different modules that can be configured to track and take care about your weight, feelings, sleep, smoking, activities, medication or general measurement. :mask:

I started this app to track the fever and medication for my daughter when she was sick. From my point of view managing some health data for ourselves without a vendor lock-in is a very good idea and we need a solution for that. With that idea in mind and many community discussions the app grows with new modules. For example I added a smoking module even though I’m a non-smoker. :laughing:

There are many ideas out there that can be associated with the health context. My question is, if it is a good way to integrate all this ideas into this one health app? Or is it a better approach to split this up, maybe with different directions? One direction could cover features that are working without storing data (notification to drink water), that could be useful for company’s. An other direction could be tracking of very personal data like periods, weights and feelings. And maybe there is one more direction for dealing with data that can be shared with the doctor or hospital.

:grey_question: Key questions from my side:

  1. What ideas for features are out there? Lets start a collection to get an overview.
  2. What kind of directions could the one app take, or do we find some direction where features could fit together?
  3. Who is interested in contribution (with what)?

I would say it’s very good to combine it into one app – not only cause that’s how other solutions do it, but also because many of these things are interrelated. Be it mood/stress and sickness, exercise/nutrition and energy, and injuries or periods of e.g. depression which are then apparent in other things like e.g. weight gain or loss.

So I would say it would be best to have it in one app. That way it’s all in one overview, very clear, and also because everyone has a potential need for many of these points by the nature of having a human body. :slight_smile: Then you don’t need to go and install a whole lot of different apps.

I’m very happy in contributing towards design and product. From a “which ideas for features are out there” I would always recommend to first look at big solutions like Google and Apple Health since they did the research already. We can always base further work on that.


Hello @flost,

Thank you for the pointer to this thread. :slight_smile: I’ve been a user of your health app for a few months.

App direction
Your question on how to progress is a good start. I’ve got to agree with @jan about having the data in one app - health is complicated and multi-faceted. Having the ability to view different data sources together can be useful - e.g. comparing your decreasing smoking activity with the exercise you are doing.

Being able to compare data would make it easier for the user to draw conclusions, reflect on their health.

Current features
I have used some health applications - mainly pedometers, smart watches and sleep trackers - in the past (always with a fake user name, and email address :stuck_out_tongue: ) but I always stopped as it made me uncomfortable having this data somewhere else.

The fact that this data will be on a server, possibly, under the users own control, is very freeing, allowing them to be less concerned about the privacy aspects of this data.

I’m happy to go back and do a review of whats available in there.

I think there will also be useful academic research on what is useful. The whole “Quantified Self” ( movement has lead to some good research to show what is and is not useful.

I’m happy to contribute with product research and design, usability testing of designs, and testing apps.

A couple of things for discussions later:

  • reducing the steps for getting data into the app: reducing the clicks a user must do, supporting synching with an existing app
  • possibility of using data from Nextcloud Phonetrack data (if the user has it installed) for movement data
  • are there data standards for storing the data (so it can be used by a users doctor)?
  • a member of the Open Source Design community is active in the “own your health data” movement, he might be interested in learning about it
  • GNOME have a health app which synchs with smartphone health apps

Hi all,

I myself haven’t used the health app so far, but let me chime in anyway: @bernard mentioned fitness trackers and own server - there is a phone app replacement for many vendors-specific apps, GadgetBridge. Maybe - if that’s of interest - those guys could be convinced to add sync (or just simple upload) to a NC Health API?


my 50cents about the directions:

To make a big app makes it difficult to maintain, specially if it is a community app?!
I am not sure if we can handle an app that has complex features like tracking, integration for wearable data (pedometers, smart watches, sleep tracker) and also standards and interfaces to exchange with doctors.

And another though about that: What are the target groups and use cases. Lets take a company business, the employees have a different relationship with their cloud system than a private user (specially about trust).
Do we want to serve a solution for private users or for companies and enterprises?
I mean the importance of health in companies is still growing I think…

And also: If we would have 2 or more apps, it is still possible to integrate the data for nice charts like you mentioned above. Don’t forget that…

Here are two approaches from my side:

  1. Framework app + modules to extend
    We could have a main app that provides an interface where providers can register. This providers are shipped by other apps that can be installed individually. That way only well chosen “modules” are provided related to the business needs. And well defined interfaces could make charts and reports across different modules possible.

  2. 2 Apps with different approaches
    One app for business, company, enterprise use cases. This could have features that do not need to store data, so employees would like to use it even if they do not trust in the system that is controlled by their employer. Another app for private use cases, like the health app today but extended by more modules like including fitness data from wearables and so on.

What do you think?

May I kindly ask you what your point w.r.t. the health app is? I do not mean any offense here.

The app is already existing. The question would be what functionalities it should provide to stay useful. This is important for the closer future as the next steps in development depend on a clear idea where to go. Also it might (or might not) be necessary to split some of the functionalities on a technical level.