At one time, Michael Williams was a fit marathon runner. Over the course of several years, however, he grew to be about 50 pounds overweight while relying on an array of medications to treat high cholesterol, asthma, acid reflux and high blood pressure.
But a CBS series on obesity flipped a switch for him. The last segment concluded that the disease is socially contagious and sometimes, he said, there’s not a lot a person can do about it.
“That infuriated me,” he said. “I got up from the couch, ran to the bathroom and threw my inhaler in the trash. I got a heart-rate monitor, blood-pressure cuff and a weight scale. I’m a recovering CPA so I tracked all this stuff in Excel and figured out what caloric burn rate I needed to maintain to stay on my plan to lose 50 pounds in seven months.”
The hardest part wasn’t the exercise, it was tracking it, he said. So Williams started to implement a system that eventually turned into Fitdigits, a cloud-based data aggregation service that customizes workouts.
“It occurred to me that I had a running watch, the elliptical computer at the gym, a bike computer, a blood-pressure cuff, a weight scale and a heart monitor, and they were all these disparate computing devices,” he said. “If I bring all of that to one place and track all that automatically for people, then I could provide people a dashboard for healthy living.”
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