Tech Tuesday: Wearable health tech

Tech Tuesday - Wearable Health Tech
Tech Tuesday - Wearable Health Tech

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) – It’s the latest craze for people trying to get in better shape! Wearable health technology can track your lifestyle, and let you know what you need to do to lose weight!
Tech Tuesday explores these high-tech bracelets, to help you know if they’re right for you.

The following is our tech expert David Powell’s discussion about this technology:

Tech Tuesday:  Wearable health techOne of the hottest areas of the tech market right now is wearable health tech.  You get these bracelets that keep track of all sorts of metrics and helps you live a more healthy lifestyle.  Let’s explore:  *   So, we are starting to monitor our bodies like you would monitor a car or something?  Kind of.  There is an old idea that you can’t control it if you can’t measure it.  So, try to try to live a more balanced, healthy life, there are now a bunch of gizmos that you can wear to collect all the data about your body.  It is called the “Quantified Self” movement.  If you track your physical activity, your sleep and other numbers, you have more awareness, and motivation, to change those numbers.  *   Sounds cool, didn’t Jawbone start this trend?  Yes, the leader has been Jawbone’s Up band.  It looks like a thicker “awareness” bracelet and is shower proof.  It runs for about a week on a charge and measures your movement, whether you are a awake or asleep and syncs the results to your smartphone.  The problem is you have to actually connect it to your phone to get the results.  You plug it in the headphone jack.  *   You plug it in?  Sounds old school?  Yes, the newest ones, the Flex by Fitbit and the Fuelband by Nike, both use Bluetooth to send info to your smartphone.  These devices run between $100-150 and are really pretty amazing.  *   What does it track?  You wear It sleeping, exercising, swimming, showering, all the time.  When you open the app, it tells you how many steps you went, what distance you covered and how many calories you burned. It will tell you how much you slept, everything.  Then, it can give you daily, weekly, monthly or yearly graphs of your steps taken or calories burned.  *   That seems impressive, but what about while you are sleeping?  This is the part that makes me want to buy one.  It tracks the number of hours you sleep, when you are “restless” (not really asleep, but not really awake) and how many times you wake up during the night.  The Flex even has an alarm where it will vibrate your wrist to wake you up.  *   How does it track calories?  Well, none of them can do that automatically.  They require you to enter the food intake manually.  There is a bathroom scale that works with Fitbit that will transmit your weight to your device automatically. The main thing, when considering which one to buy, is that All of these gadgets perform the Big Feature well: making you constantly aware of your inactivity and lack of sleep — and motivating you, gently and engagingly, to pilot your life onto a healthier track.

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