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Technology For Monitoring Heart Health

Wireless innovations to monitor heart health are advancing rapidly.

February 14 is not the only day to think of hearts and flowers and the one you love. American Heart Month lasts all 28 days or in this Leap Year all 29 days.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in America.  Every year, nearly 800,000 have a first heart attack and almost 500,000 experience a second or additional heart attack.

While telling the ones you love how much they mean to you, consider how much you mean to them.  Here are some lifestyle areas to consider to help your heart.

Number 1 is check with your doctor!

Exercise regularly. Walking, rowing, dancing and many more options exist. Mix them up to keep your exercise routine interesting and you participating. Check out what your local businesses, parks and rec centers offer.

Eat a heart-healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and limit red meat. Shop local farmer’s markets and community share programs for healthy options.

Decrease stress through meditation and yoga, or just sit still and breathe.

Break habits that may create heart problems -- smoking, excess weight or drinking too much alcohol. Explore neighborhood options to help you with these concerns.

Give your heart an emotional break by switching off technology from time to time.

“Wait. Did I just read ‘switch off technology’?”  Yes, you did. Unplug for a while and embrace the quiet.

However, this wouldn’t be a Technology Trends article without pointing out some new technologies to add to your healthy heart toolkit.

Wireless innovations to monitor care are advancing rapidly. They can bring decreased costs in terms of fewer emergency room visits, less time in the hospital and shorter stays in nursing homes.

Macaw is a new wireless application from U.S. Preventive Medicine and Qualcomm, which connects your health information and suggests changes to your daily routine. An example is based on your amount of physical activity for the day, Macaw might recommend you exercise longer or walk faster.  It proactively alerts you to risk factors and how to reduce them. It’s a free app available for both Apple iOS and Android.

Fitbit is also a new wireless application and device.  It measures and reports your steps taken, miles walked, calories used and more. It also measures when you go to bed, time taken to fall asleep, and the number of times you waken to provide the actual amount of sleep you’ve gotten. The device is compact about two inches long and ¾ inches wide. It has an accelerometer which more accurately monitors activity than pedometers and includes an altimeter for tracking stairs climbed.

Tinke was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last month and will be available for purchase soon. It attaches to your iPhone. Put your thumb over the laser to measure your heart rate, respiratory rate and blood oxygen level. Your iPhone will display the results as numbers and in a graph.

Add any of these tech tools to help you take care of your heart this month and throughout the year.

Bob February 08, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I need an iColon app. Such a thing exist yet?
Lydia Patrick February 09, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Sorry, not that I've heard of Bob. I did find a few other promising new health apps, however. Runkeeper from FitnessKeeper lets you see your jogging route and measures your distance and heart rate. Cellscope, from Fletcher Lab at the U of California at Berkley, helps identify and provide a treatment plan for ear, nose, throat and skin aliments.
Sally Spangler February 22, 2012 at 04:12 PM
OK - that is nice. BUT - what percentage of the population across the US follows these plans so that we do not have heart problems? At what age is it too late to embrace these plans? The biggest question - why bother? To live longer? To really take part in today's world - who is willing to hire someone,particularly a woman over 60 in work she has been doing for 30 years? Get real!

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