Jason Collier - 29th Oct 2018 [updated 7th Oct 2019] - Medical Device / Mobile Health
We are in an age where technology is fully integrated into our daily lives. Over the last few years, health tech has been becoming increasingly more important and beneficial to us. Some of the latest innovations are simply draw-dropping! But the benefits that go hand in hand with the gadgets in this list are what make them so special. Without any further ado, these are 10 MUST-HAVE Health Tech Gadgets.
Lower your blood pressure
QardioArm is a simple-to-use, neat-looking wireless blood pressure monitor that measures your systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and heart rate. QardioArm is FDA approved and clinically validated to meet US and European standards! It connects to the Qardio Heart Health app which graphs and interprets results intuitively. It also reminds the user to test blood pressure and allows results to be shared with the user’s doctor. What sets QuardioArm apart from other blood pressure monitors is its simplicity and its well-designed app. This makes it one of the standout health tech gadgets!
Monitor your blood glucose levels
The Contour Next One was rated by Top Ten Reviews as the best glucose meter on the market! It subsequently made it onto our list of the best glucose meters and now onto our list of best health tech gadgets. The Contour Next One is Bluetooth-enabled to connect to the Contour Diabetes app, which is an impressive data management tool. It features a smartLIGHT feature which gives an instant indicator of blood glucose results. The meter also features a handy second-chance sampling feature, which prompts the user to reapply blood if the first sample is insufficient to take a reading. This helps to avoid lancing a second time and wasting strips! Two distinctive features about the Contour Next One in comparison to other glucose meters is the affordability and availability of test strips.
Source: Contour Next
Monitor your cardiac rhythm
The KardiaMobile EKG monitor is an FDA-cleared, clinical grade personal EKG monitor. It takes just 30 seconds to detect normal heart rhythm or AFib and it is easy to use – the user simply puts their fingers on the electrodes (no wires, patches or gels required). KardiaMobile will wirelessly communicate with the Kardia app to let the user know if their EKG is normal or if atrial fibrillation (AF) is detected. The Kardia app was rated by Health Tech Hub as one of the best mobile health (mHealth) apps on the market! The EKG can be emailed to the user’s doctor at any time for analysis, saving the user time, effort and money. The KardiaMobile is a cheaper, more specific mobile ECG option than the Apple Watch Series 4 and 5 which come with built in ECG monitors too (see gadget no. 10 below).
See how your activity affects your oxygen level and pulse pre- and post-workout
Pulse oximeters are not only for individuals with respiratory diseases but can also be used by fitness fanatics. A pulse oximeter can be used to monitor the user’s oxygen levels during a workout. It can help the user make adjustments so that the user gets a more equalised oxygen flow throughout the fitness session. It also benefits those who do vigorous exercise at high altitudes.
The iHealth Air is a clinically tested device which accurately measures one's blood oxygen level, pulse rate, and perfusion index. It is wireless and lightweight – it can be worn on a lanyard during physical activity and clipped to your finger for a reading anytime, anywhere. The device has a screen to display the results, but also sends the data to the iHealth MyVitals app to be viewed in more detail.
The iHealth MyVitals app allows the user to view all health data from the wide range of iHealth products in one place. The app supports the iHealth range of health tech gadgets – the Blood Pressure monitors, the Scales, the Pulse Oximeters as well as the Activity and Sleep Trackers.
Source: iHealth Labs
Track your sleep without wearing a fitness tracker
Withings is another company known for its health tech gadgets. Its entry into the sleep gadget arena is a pad placed under your mattress, aptly named Withings Sleep. It promises to be more accurate than simply using an app, thanks to a sensitive pressure sensor that utilises ballistocardiography — a method that measures presence and movement, respiration rate, and heart rate.
Withings Sleep offers sleep cycles analysis (deep, light and REM), heart rate tracking and snore detection. It features easy one-time setup and automatic, wireless sync to the Health Mate app. Withings Sleep is home automation enabled. This means that it can control bedroom lights and the thermostat automatically. It does all this without the user wearing any tracking devices! Withings Sleep also offers a sleep coaching program to enhance the user’s sleep environment.
Measure your weight, BMI, body fat, bone mass and muscle mass
Suitable for athletes in training or those just trying to maintain a healthy weight, the Garmin Index Smart Scale provides the metrics needed to track progress and see results. It measures weight, body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, bone mass and muscle mass. The Garmin Index Recognises up to 16 users and boasts a battery life of up to 9 months! It is also Wi-Fi connected, allowing wireless data sync to the Garmin Connect app. The Garmin Connect App allows the user to monitor fitness data from a host of Garmin health tech gadgets!
An easier, better way to measure your temperature
Thermo offers a fast, effortless method which yields a precise body temperature measurement. To do this, it measures from the temporal artery, considered an ideal place to detect temperature changes, as the blood that circulates there comes from the core of the body. 16 infrared sensors take over 4,000 measurements using Withings’ HotSpot Sensor Technology. Unlike many traditional methods, Thermo avoids any discomfort and is an extremely sanitary way to take anyone’s temperature. Readings appear illuminated on the device along with a color-coded LED indicator to tell the user if the temperature reading is normal, elevated or high.
In addition to tracking temperature and symptoms, the user can enter comments, medications, and even photos in any user profile on the Thermo app. This helps the user to see if the treatment is effective and allows the user to have a complete history to share with a doctor. Measurements sync automatically with a smartphone. Based on age, fever history, and symptoms, the Thermo app gives advanced health advice. In addition, Boston Children’s Hospital provides Thermia™, educational information on proper medications and dosages.
A contact-free fertility tracker
The clinically proven, award winning EarlySense Percept is the world’s first contact-free fertility monitor. This means no peeing, patches or temperature taking! Understanding one’s body is key to being in control of one’s fertility. EarlySense Percept is an under-mattress fertility tracker that uses AI to accurately pinpoint the user’s dates of ovulation, period and a 6-day fertility window. It does this by monitoring physiological signals including heart rate and breathing. It features real-time monitoring and daily tips too. All the data can be viewed from a smartphone using the EarlySense percept app.
What can you do with Percept?
The Ultimate multi-sport GPS watch
The Garmin fēnix 5X Plus is Garmin’s flagship fēnix watch. It is an upgrade to the fēnix 5 released in 2017 and includes all the features of the fēnix 5 Plus, including a pulse acclimator. Over and above the multitude of features, one would be hard pressed to find an activity the fēnix 5X Plus couldn’t track! However, for the purposes of this article, the heart rate monitor, pulse acclimator and sleep tracking capabilities will be focused on.
The fēnix 5X Plus, like the models before it, features a wrist-based heart rate monitor. Garmin’s Elevate™ wrist heart rate technology allows for wrist-based heart rate monitoring – no chest strap needed. In addition to counting steps and monitoring sleep, the watch uses heart rate to provide calories burned information and quantify the intensity of your fitness activities. It also measures your heart rate variability to calculate a stress score that helps you assess what level of activity your body is ready for.
The Pulse Ox sensor on the fēnix 5X Plus watch uses light beams at your wrist to gauge the user’s body’s blood oxygen saturation level. The Pulse Ox feature can be turned on to gauge your SpO2 overnight — or use it to take a spot measurement anytime you want to check how well your body is absorbing oxygen.
For added insight on your sleep patterns, fēnix 5X Plus also tracks the user’s light, deep and REM stages along with the user’s movements throughout the night. Upon wake up, it’s easy to review and compare sleep stats – and the vast array of other stats that the watch measures – in the Garmin Connect app.
Fundamentally redesigned and re-engineered to help you stay even more active, healthy, and connected
The Apple Watch Series 5 is at the cutting edge of design. Among other things, it functions as an activity tracker, a sports watch and a health monitor. Its features are extensive, but for the purposes of this article, its health monitoring capabilities will be focused on. its health monitoring capabilities allow the user to manage everything from everyday stress to calories burned. At the same time, it monitors the user’s heart rate and lets the user know if it detects something of concern. And that sense of security now goes a step further with fall detection and Emergency SOS.
With the ECG app, Apple Watch Series 5 is capable of generating an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram. It’s a momentous achievement for a wearable device that can provide critical data for doctors and peace of mind for its user. The ECG app can indicate whether your heart rhythm shows signs of atrial fibrillation — a serious form of irregular heart rhythm — or sinus rhythm, which means your heart is beating in a normal pattern.
The Emergency SOS feature calls for help when the user can’t. It dials 911, notifies the emergency contacts, sends the current location, and displays the Medical ID badge on the screen for emergency personnel. Apple Watch Series 5 with cellular does it all even when a paired mobile phone is not nearby.
With the new accelerometer and gyroscope, Apple Watch Series 5 can detect that its user has fallen. When an incident like this occurs, a hard fall alert is delivered, and the user can easily initiate a call to emergency services or dismiss the alert. If the user is unresponsive after 60 seconds, the emergency call will be placed automatically and a message with your location will be sent to your emergency contacts.
All heart data, as well as information from health and fitness apps, is collected in the user’s iPhone Health app. Activity, sleep, mindfulness, and nutrition are highlighted there in one snapshot.
The Health app is available by default on Apple iPads and iPhones and the ECG app is available by default on your Apple Watch Series 4 or later.
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