Tag Archives: heart

Withings Blood Pressure Monitor: Easy Home Measurements for the Family

The Withings Blood Pressure Monitor is a very easy to use device that captures data from each use and stores it on the Withings app. I was initially surprised by the size of the device. With the band measuring just under six inches wide, it felt larger than most BP monitors found in a doctor’s office. However, the mobility and accuracy of the device makes it an ideal home BP monitor.

I set the device to average three rounds of measurements with a 30 second break between takes, which averaged my blood pressure to 116/66. This measurement was also transferred to my Withings Health Companion app (bottom right) which keeps track of my weight, exercise and sleep. I highly recommend this device for monitoring blood pressure levels consistently over time.

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2012 was an exciting year for healthcare with the fierce growth in mobile health technologies and the preservation of the Affordable Care Act.

I have highlighted below some of my favorite companies I’ve posted about this year, and if you haven’t checked these products out, you certainly should. Perhaps one or more will help jump start a New Year’s Resolution.

A big thank you to my followers for an amazing year and here’s to health and happiness in 2013!

– Alexis

 

Best Body Monitor and Activity Tracker:

Fitbit – Self-tracking device

Lumoback – Posture sensor and app

Misfit Shine – Self-tracking device. Not on the market yet, but the size and sleek design makes it one of my favorite

Best Self Tracking and Reminder App:

SkinVision  – Mobile app that tracks changes over time for various skin conditions

PillBoxie – Simple and effective medication management app

Cardiio  – iPhone heart rate sensor

Best Medical Answer:

Healthtap – Health questions answered by doctors and doctor locator

iTriage – Self-triage and doctor finder

iCouch – Tele-therapy website

Best Exercise Motivator:

GymPact
 – Monetary workout incentivizing app

StickK – Monetary goal incentivizing website

Skinnyo  – Health challenge creator, using social media to incentivize

Best Insurance and Payment Management:

Cakehealth – Streamline health insurance billing and payments onto one platform

Simplee – Compile healthcare records and bills into one easy to understand online dashboard

GoHealth – Quotes for purchasing individual health insurance

Best Up and Coming:

Proteus – Ingestible sensors, embedded in medications to capture information regarding the foods you eat and how your body reacts to them

GeckoCap – Inhaler usage tracker for kids with asthma

Vitality Glowcaps  – Prescription reminder pill cap tops that transmit data about your medication adherence

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Zensorium: Measure Circulatory and Respiratory Functions with Tinké

Tinké is a small device which measures your circulatory and respiratory functions. Simply place your thumb on the device to measure your blood oxygen level, heart rate variability (less variability = more stress), respiratory rate and heart rate. The device uses optical signals to measure blood volume changes in the body to determine those four factors and then assigns you a fitness score and stress level score. Tinké is powered by your iPhone (no external charger required) and all your measurements are directly uploaded to the iPhone application, which also offers breathing exercises to de-stress.

I personally feel that this is a neat tool to use and would be interested in tracking my own metrics for a week, measuring myself at the same time, five times a day, to see how my body varies and adapts. But I also generally believe that I am a healthy individual who’s statistics won’t change very much and after a week of use, will start to ignore the device. But who knows, maybe I’ll get one next year and maybe it will surprise me. The company will release an iPhone 5 compatible version by March 2013.

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Basis: Taking Self-Tracking to a New Level

Basis is a self-tracking watch that is taking exercise and health monitoring to a new level. The watch has multiple sensors where it touches your wrist, which measure blood flow, perspiration, and even skin temperature. Heart rate, sleep and activity metrics can be synced and viewed online, and the Basis has a bluetooth chip that will be enabled with the highly anticipated release of the company’s mobile app. With all the extra sensors, the watch is bulkier than other tracking technologies but its sleek design makes it unique. If the company added a GPS tracker, this watch could start to substantially compete with Garmin watches.

The goal of the device is for the user to spot trends in their daily and weekly activities to help form and shape healthy habits. This is definitely a device to try and I’m interested to see how Basis evolves.

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Get to Know: Stress Check Your Own Stress

Azumio has created a number of interesting health apps ranging from heart rate monitoring to sleep tracking to glucose monitoring. Stress Check designates a stress score after measuring your heart rate through the camera of your mobile device. The camera and the light of your mobile phone captures your heart rate using your pointer finger as well as analyzes your heart rate variability (HRV), which is the consistency (or lack thereof) of the intervals between heart beats. The less stressed you are, the higher your HRV and the more scattered and random consecutive heart beats you have.

The application then tracks your stress levels over time, which can differ greatly throughout the day. If you have high stress levels, Azumio has another app, Stress Doctor, which may be able to lower your stress levels.

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Proteus: Ingestible Sensors – The New Age of e-Pills

Proteus Digital Health makes ingestible sensors, embedded in the medications you normally take. The sensor is powered by your stomach fluids (works like a potato battery) and captures information regarding the foods you eat and how your body reacts to them. You wear a separate disposable patch, which acts as a receiver, and it takes the data from the ingested sensor and sends that information to your mobile device. The patch also measures your heart rate, activity, and rest.

This past July, Proteus received FDA market clearance and has been used without adverse events in multiple clinical trials. Still too science fiction for your taste? The sensor doesn’t stay in your body – it passes like high-fiber food, and the patch has a life span of seven days. The company is working on making the sensor provide more detailed feedback on how your body reacts to daily food and medication intake, both of which can lead to more effective and individualized treatment plans.

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Cardiio: iPhone Heart Rate Sensor

Cardiio is an app that measures your heart rate when you look straight into the front camera of your iPhone.

How does this technology work? From the website: “Every time your heart beats, more blood is pumped into your face. This slight increase in blood volume causes more light to be absorbed, and hence less light is reflected from your face. Using sophisticated software, your iPhone’s front camera can track these tiny changes in reflected light that are not visible to the human eye and calculate your heart beat!”

You have to look directly at the front camera (or else results will be abnormal), but in general results seem pretty expected!

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