Beyond Fitbit, There Is More To Health Management

Health management found an altogether new meaning in 2007 when Fitbit Inc set its foundation in San Francisco. A decade down the line, the world has caught up with the ‘healthy living’ trend and how! What started more as a fad has now become an integral part of people’s lives. There are people who just cannot function without their Fitbit tugging at their wrists! No, we are not exaggerating.

Fitbit came in as a revolutionary product that helped people keep track of their physical activity. It gave birth to a horde of other fitness trackers that let you track your physical/health activities ranging from calorie intake, calories burnt, steps walked, kilometres ran, water intake, sleep et al. You name it and you have a tracker for it today – be it in the form of a wearable gadget or a mobile phone application. These are all great ways to ensure that you are leading a healthy life but have you ever wondered that this is not all that health management is about?

Health management is an umbrella term and tracking physical activities and sleep is just two of the many other aspects that one needs to cater to for a having a healthy mind and body. The fad of fitness trackers and app has made people overlook the bigger picture. Managing health is not only about tracking your steps, calories, or food but also about monitoring your health at regular intervals. Monitoring health is what these apps and trackers don’t provide for. A holistic approach to health management will be tracking as well as monitoring other aspects. Let’s take a look –

Managing Personal Health Record (PHR) History:

Personal Health Record (PHR) is a tool that helps an individual to keep a track of their past and current health and medical history. Unlike the fitness apps and trackers where you live by the day, the PHR is a consolidated data about your entire health history. It helps doctors in tracking your past health record thereby felicitating better and accurate medical care. It keeps track of your diagnosis and treatments which, in turn, helps the doctors in precise analysis and treatment. There are several mobile apps available today which can help you keep track of your personal health record right from the mobile.

Healthcare Advice

Have a stomach ache? Google the symptoms and voila you have stomach cancer! Hasn’t this happened with most of us? Today, Googling about a disease has created more anxiety than the disease itself. With so much of information at our disposal, it becomes difficult to measure the accuracy of it. Reading a couple of articles on the internet cannot provide you with the healthcare advice you need. You need qualified professionals to guide you through. You need access to quality health advice from expert professionals – delivered right on your mobile phone.

Keeping in Touch with Doctors

How many times have you texted your doctor regarding some ailment or post-op follow-up? Innumerable, isn’t it? Ever wondered about how unsystematic you are being regarding such vital information? It becomes difficult not only for you but also for the doctor to keep track of your medical history. You should be able to communicate with the doctor while making your medical information available systematically. You don’t need to visit the doctor nor do you need to worry about losing track of your vital medical information. Everything should be placed systematically under your health profile.

Locating Doctors, Labs & Other Medical Facilities

Just like apps wherein you review restaurants, how about an app where you can review doctors, labs, X-ray and MRI centres etc? We seek reviews from acquaintances and friends before finalizing a doctor or accessing any other medical facility. But, what if you are stuck in a new city with no reliable acquaintance? In such situations, it helps to have an app more like an online directory that recommends and reviews doctors, hospitals, labs and other medical centres.

Good Diet & Exercise

Completing 10k steps every day on your fitness tracker doesn’t mean that you have met your exercise quota nor does consuming food with limited calorie ensures you are having a good and healthy diet. Exercise and a good diet are well beyond that. One needs to exercise for at least 30 minutes at a stretch. Walking 10k steps over the entire day doesn’t count for exercise. A good diet is imperative in maintaining health and keeping a check on calorie count doesn’t imply good diet. You need to ensure that your diet is meeting your nutrition quota for the day. A good diet should be based on the intake of nutrients more than the calorie count.

The fad of healthy life has skewed the meaning of health management. Losing weight or building muscle doesn’t mean you are fit or healthy. Being healthy is far more than just your outer body. Though it is not bad to keep a track of your day to day physical activities and eating habits, one needs to focus on the rest of the above-mentioned aspects as well in order to achieve a perfectly healthy mind and body.

 

How Doctors Can Leverage the Wearables Revolution?

Did you know? The wearable technology industry is expected to grow to $34 billion by 2020. As the digital world grows with full momentum, you can safely say wearable devices are becoming a humdrum of a daily life. There is so much technology is doing in our lives that most of it are yet to be seen.

Wearables, though, can be used with multiple applications and also have a user-friendly design. With more time, we will see how wearables will revolutionise the way it’s used. Then again it is easy to see how the data from the wearables technology can help in the field of healthcare. Can a doctor really leverage the wearables revolution? Yes. In reality, it’s doing it already.

A Wearable Revolution – or is it?

When you read revolution here, please don’t jump to any conclusions. It’s not pointing to a revolution like the industrial or of the French kind. The wearables technology got into people’s lives so dramatically and it’s really the massive scale at which it’s reaching people is what the revolution is talked about here.

Wearable devices such as Fitbit, Apple Watches, and GoPro got popular in 2014 and it was no wonder that this time was known as the year for wearables. Apple shipped 11.6 million of their watches in 2015! That’s what so revolutionary about it. However, did you know? Wearables technology has been around since the 60’s. It’s only because of the economic scale such as the reach and affordability that has popularised these wearables now.

Technical devices like those mentioned above are exciting to use but you’ll be surprised how much of this is directly affecting the healthcare sector.

Can you imagine shirts that measure your heart rate or socks that record live data of your blood pressure? These are manic inventions hitting the market now. Just so you know that wearables technology is not just for the wrists.

Live Data adds to the excitement

It’s important to eat healthy food, yes. People know this, but how many really follow it or can they afford to follow an organic or vegan diet? Same is the case for exercise. You know exercise is good for you, but do you do it every day like you’re supposed to? That’s why these wearables are so exciting to use.

Wearable devices for fitness, track live data. Whether you are standing, walking, or running, all your data is tracked and recorded. Before the wearable revolution? Only your weight and vitals were tracked, but how effective were they to predict anything…

The live data from devices now measure sleep patterns, your activity or inactivity levels are averaged every day. If you’re into this, then tracking and playing with these numbers will help you improve your health. Something like the Pokemon Go game where players are walking around the area to play the game and get exercise also, etc. The drama unfolds further when you share your fitness numbers with your “fitness pals” and track your progress against others. This way, even if you aren’t feeling up to working out or feeling discouraged, there is a community to help you gather your bearings, per se.

Streamlining Diagnoses with Wearables

Say something bad happens to you and you were to be wheeled into the hospital. How long do you think it will take for the doctors to study the paperwork or look at your previous records? This is easily going to take a while before a thorough diagnostic can be made. It is no wonder that many doctors are leveraging the wearables revolution now. They are using all that live data to make better diagnoses and create effective treatment plans like never.

It is not just about the bands you wear on your wrists or the fitness data tracked on your smartphone. These are wearables that doctors wear and use to quickly accumulate your data and make swift decisions based on it. This is good news because this is a revolutionary new way to be there for patients and save more lives!

Take for instance, if someone was to come to the hospital with an allergic reaction. Allergies need to be diagnosed with tests and it may take a while before any treatment could begin. With wearable devices now, doctors can see the medication history and will gauge if the allergy stemmed from the use of any particular medicines. In a worst case scenario, the timely approbation of the wearable is enough to save that person’s life.

The wearable technology is clearly changing the way we see our health and the way doctors use patient information. It’s a fantastic new avenue for better diagnosis and effective treatment plans. This is because wearable devices have now made patient information more readily available where previously it wasn’t. Patient information was always so sensitive and private, but now technology enables both doctors and patients to share the information together.

As more people are embracing a life with wearables, doctors are leveraging this information to impact lives better and faster. It is also how the devices connect with our bodies is truly making a revolution in the healthcare industry.