If you asked a random person on the street what he or she would most like to change or improve about their life, there’s a good chance that the answer would relate somehow to health. Just about everyone would like to live healthier in some way, whether it’s by losing weight, by making healthier choices or by doing a better job of managing chronic conditions. It can be difficult to do those things, however, without feedback. People need products that make it easier to make the right decisions. They need products that track key health parameters and provide actionable insights. Those are precisely the things that these products do. These are the technologies that can help you take control of your health.
Smartwatches and Wearable Health Monitors
Without a doubt, wearable fitness monitors have been among the most important technical innovations in the health sector over the past couple of decades. The revolution began with devices like Fitbit, which was first released in 2009 and combined a pedometer, an activity level tracker, a meal tracker and a sleep monitor into a single unit. The fitness tracker craze only expanded from there, and the latest trackers and smartwatches now have the ability to monitor other key health parameters such as your heart rhythm and blood oxygen levels.
A fitness tracker or smartwatch can also be a great boon in the event of an emergency. If you are experiencing cardiac issues, your smartwatch may be able to provide an ECG to your doctor. Since smartwatches have multi-axis accelerometers, they can detect an impact indicating a fall and automatically offer to dial 911.
When you buy any smartwatch or fitness tracker, it’s important to read the service terms carefully before surrendering your private data. Two of the world’s biggest tech companies – Apple and Alphabet – respectively own the Apple Watch and Fitbit brands. Both companies say that the data collected isn’t used for advertising purposes, but that doesn’t mean the situation will never change in the future. If you’re not convinced, you can always buy an old-fashioned pedometer instead. It won’t collect as much data about your activity levels, but it also won’t share the information it collects with anyone.
Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping Devices
One of the fastest ways to make yourself feel hopelessly out of control is by becoming addicted to tobacco. When people start smoking, they always fool themselves into thinking that they can quit any time they want to. It’s only when you actually try to quit, though, that you realize how addicted you really are. Cigarettes must be the only legal products in the world that kill the majority of their users – and it’s not just a health issue. Being a smoker means that you’ll probably never be as well off financially as your peers. In some regions, tobacco taxes are so high that smoking a pack a day virtually guarantees that you’ll never own a home or pay off your credit card debts – and yet, people continue smoking anyway because once you start, it’s unbelievably difficult to stop.
For the smokers of the world, the invention of e-cigarettes and vaping devices from companies like V2 Cigs UK has been the most important revolution in the health sector since the creation of the first nicotine replacement products. Although nicotine gums and patches have helped many people quit, most of the people who use those products don’t end up quitting successfully. That’s because nicotine replacement products have two problems: They’re not enjoyable to use, and they don’t deliver nicotine to the body quickly enough to satisfy cravings.
The reason why vaping is more effective in helping people quit is because is because e-cigarettes are the first products that have ever been able to overcome the problems with traditional nicotine replacement products. Since the nicotine is inhaled, it enters the bloodstream and satisfies cravings immediately. Oral nicotine replacement products don’t taste good at all. The e-liquid for e-cigarettes, on the other hand, is available in hundreds of different flavors. If you’re a smoker and haven’t been able to quit by traditional means, it’s time to give vaping a chance.
Pain-Free Blood Glucose Monitors
In the United States alone, an estimated 96 million adults have prediabetes. That’s more than one out of every three people. Of those people, over 80 percent are unaware that they have prediabetes and aren’t taking the appropriate steps to protect their health. In addition, about one in 10 adults in the U.S. have diabetes – and of those, about 20 percent are unaware. Diabetes, in short, is a major health crisis. If you’re an adult and aren’t monitoring your blood glucose levels, you really should be. That’s doubly true if you’re overweight or have other risk factors.
One of the reasons why many people choose not to monitor their blood glucose levels is because the process is panful. Traditionally, you need to use a lancet to prick your fingertip before squeezing a drop of blood onto a test strip inserted into an electronic meter. Pricking your finger and drawing blood isn’t such a terrible experience if you only need to do it once – but checking your blood sugar once doesn’t really give you a lot of information. You really need to do it regularly if you want to see what your blood glucose levels are like throughout the day, and that starts to get old extremely quickly.
Thankfully, new solutions are finally on the horizon for pain-free blood glucose monitoring. Solutions have been developed for measuring blood sugar both by testing the saliva and by using a sensor that touches the skin. Although these alternative solutions for monitoring blood glucose levels are still awaiting regulatory approval in many regions, they’re not far from becoming available. In addition, it’s very likely that smartwatches will soon include blood glucose monitors. That’s going to enable hundreds of millions of people around the world to identify the fact that they have prediabetes before it progresses to full diabetes, and that could end up becoming the biggest healthcare revolution of the century.