Your Health Tamar Raucher | one year ago

Go Go Gadget: The Best Tech to Track Your Health

Monitoring your health is now as simple as putting on a watch or downloading an app. And there are so many gadgets and gizmos out there!

A healthy heart lets you stay focused on doing what you love.  Learn how Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute can help you keep your heart healthy.  Want to know your blood oxygen level? Done. Sleep patterns? Ditto. Speed and distance traveled during your morning jog? Check and check. With so many awesome health trackers on the market, it can be hard to determine which ones are right for you. Here’s a little background on the top health tech on the market and how it can transform, inform and inspire your personal health habits.

Activity Tracker

Activity trackers monitor motion; most come with 3-axis accelerometers to track movement in every direction. They also act as high-tech pedometers, recording your pace, distance and calories and then syncing the information to your smartphone or tablet so you can view your progress. Some even have built-in GPS. Just attach your activity tracker to your wrist, arm or ankle and get moving! Popular activity trackers: FitBit, Misfit, Jawbone, Garmin.

Heart Monitor

Keep track of your heart rate and any abnormal heart rhythms with your own EKG monitor. Some heart rate monitors even let you plug in your heart rate goals and alert you with an alarm when you hit below or above your target zone. As with activity trackers, heart monitors can sync to your smartwatch, phone or computer to track your heart rate over time. Some attach to your wrist like a wristwatch or an activity tracker and are comfortable to wear; others use a band that wraps around your chest. Popular heart monitors: AliveCor, Polar, Omron.

Sleep Sensor

Sleep habits are important to your overall heath. Bedside sensors track your quality of sleep (including REM) as well as environmental factors to give you feedback on what you can do to improve your sleeping conditions, such as wearing an eye mask to shut out light or not drinking liquids within an hour of going to bed. Some are wearable, others just sit on your nightstand or mattress and monitor your breathing and movement, syncing that information to your smartphone or tablet. Popular sleep sensors: ResMed S+, SleepCycle App, Withings Aura Smart Sleep System.

Pulse Oximeter

This nifty device gives you an instant readout of your blood oxygen saturation level (SpO2). SpO2 refers to the concentration of oxygen in the blood. Normal levels are between 95 and 100 percent. Knowing this number is important – blood oxygen concentrations below 90 percent can indicate an oxygen deficiency, sleep apnea, asthma or other problems that require a visit to your doctor. Popular pulse oximeters: Concord Generation 3, iHealth Wireless Pulse Oximeter.

Blood Pressure Monitor

This is especially handy if you have high blood pressure. Anxiety at the doctor’s office is the cause of many false blood pressure reads. Checking it in the comfort of your own home throughout the day and sharing the results with your doctor can help determine the accuracy of your in-office blood pressure numbers. Popular blood pressure monitors: Omron 10 Series, Veridian Wrist Automatic, LifeSource UB351.