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Preventative Medicine and Fitness Trackers

Written by S.O.

Posted on July 7, 2015 at 7:38 pm

One of the most effective ways to execute a successful Population Health Management (PHM) strategy is to emphasize the importance of preventative medicine. Preventative medicine can help reduce E.R. utilization by keeping the public healthy, and therefore not seeking medical services that can quickly clog the E.R. Patients’ health can easily be maintained through a healthy diet, regular exercise and minimizing the intake of alcohol. In terms of sticking to a healthy diet and regular exercise, technology has come to our rescue, helping us monitor our activity and get the nitty-gritty details of our lifestyle. Applications like FitBits, Up Bands and the Garmin Vivoactive make leading a healthy lifestyle easier, helping to reduce unnecessary E.R. admissions and cut frivolous government spending on E.R. services.

But what exactly are all of these pieces of digital technology? What do they measure? How can they help?

Garmin Vivoactive
The Garmin Vivoactive is a fitness tracker that is more sport oriented. Specifically, the user can log sports like running, cycling, swimming and golf, besides everyday activity tracking. The watch comes compact with nearly 38,000 golf course maps, scorecards, and the ability to measure distances with GPS. When swimming, the Vivoactive counts your laps and calculates your calories burned. The LCD screen displays graphics and touch screen buttons in color. Not only that, the battery power supposedly lasts up to 3 weeks, meaning you will get so used to it that you don’t even realize it’s on your wrist. Finally, the Vivoactive also has Bluetooth capabilities, meaning it can sync to your smartphone and provide you with notifications while you work out.

Up Band
Jawbone, a tech company based out of San Francisco, has a system of fitness trackers- the Up band. Though there are many models of the Up band, they all do relatively the same thing and are a great introduction to the world of fitness bands. The Up band tracks your sleep in as much detail as your sleep cycles. The Up band connects to your smartphone to display graphs that show your daily activity. The graph depicts times during the day when you were particularly active and burned more calories. The Up band is light and easy to use, but its material makes it easy to get stuck on clothing and a little uncomfortable to sleep with.

FitBit Charge HR
FitBits are the holy grail of wearable fitness technology. The FitBit uses continuous heart rate monitoring to offer the most accurate results on your daily activity compared to its peers. Similar to the Up band, a FitBit is a very standard fitness tracker, producing data on sleep, activity, and calories burned. However, the FitBit also comes with caller ID from your smartphone and its LED screen displays daily fitness statistics.

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