Garmin Kills PAI Support

The good old days – 2016


Garmin turns off PAI Support

If I recall, PAI was invented by the owners of the MIO Link band – the first optical sports wrist band (awesome in its day). The company had some financial difficulties parted company with the CEO and then split into the hardware side MIO Labs and the algorithm side PAI Health. Or something along those lines.

I remember attending a presentation on PAI and then, in private, questioning the presenter afterwards. I asked what was the difference between PAI and TRIMP and he didn’t know. Based on the presentation they sounded pretty much the same to me except, perhaps, PAI added some points for super-low level activity.

Anyone worth their physiological salt would know about TRIMP, it’s been around for a long time, I’ve used it for over 10 years.

But, hey, not to worry. PAI is backed by real science. Indeed the company has a page which links here. I’m not entirely sure what some of these studies are proving but I do note one of the papers (here), which points out

…Professor Wisløff is the inventor of PAI, and share holder (together with, the major share holdershareholder NTNU Technology Transfer Office, and three other enterprises; Femto incInc., Singsaker holding and Berre Holding inc.Inc.) of a company (Beatstack incInc.) that holds the IP rights for PAI. Physical Enterprises inc.Inc. that develops an application that may utilize data from diverse heart rate monitors, as well as developing wearable’s that incorporates PAI owns Beatstack inc.Inc. Due to the potential conflict of interest, we are….

You can see where that is going.

On their support pages, PAI Health points out that Garmin is now stopping PAI from getting at your data directly on the Garmin Conenct Platform but suggests a workaround where you get Garmin Connect to put data in Apple Health which PAI can then access (ie Apple Health can hold data from any app not just those on the Apple Watch). Sadly, there is no Android workaround but I hope that can be fixed.

Still, the question remains, “Why did Garmin disable the link up to Connect?” First up, the operating terms are probably drawn up so that Garmin can say ‘because we want to‘, Strava seems to repeatedly do similar things; for example, the ReLive – STRAVA link was terminated which probably foretells of a similar feature being developed in-house by STRAVA. Putting all that to one side, it seems that the PAI metric is very similarly named to the Garmin/Firstbeat metric that they now call PAS (Physical Activity Score).

You can read more about PAS (here) and it’s similar in principle to TRIMP but Firstbeat base their metrics on EPOC.

Take Out

To me, it seems that that PAI is too similar to PAS. The name is similar and the usage is similar even if the back-end calculations are very different. If I were Garmin I wouldn’t want that confusion with what my metrics show about your data.

Also: on Reddit

Thank you: @InSyt







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3 thoughts on “Garmin Kills PAI Support

  1. It’s weird that companies like Garmin would share data with someone like Strava who have a lot of competing features, and vise versa, but they shut out the smaller guys like PAI and Relive who just focus on doing just one thing.

    PAI was something that worked really well for older/unfit/not so techy people. Let’s hope that they find a workaround for Android.

  2. Streisand effect strikes again – had never heard of the App but now have it installed and Syncing via Apple Health. Thanks Garmin!

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