I am listening to the Evolution of Medicine this week. An interview with Robin Berzin M.D. was new technologies in medicine. One of the current technologies discussed was the importance of using activity and calorie trackers to become more aware of how much we move and eat. I have used the technology for 12 years now both personally and in my practice. I can tell you it is one of the best tools for learning what your energy balance is. It used to be a bulky device but now they come in all shapes and sizes, they have bluetooth technology to upload from your phone and log in your food. The exerspy, bodybugg, fitbit, and many other companies offer these devices that interchange with different software. I like myfitnesspal because it lets you use any device to load in your data. I also like tracking devices like Endomondo for exercise. It has a GPS and can measure distance, time, calories burned and stores the history. Not that one has to use these forever they are just good tools for learning.
The coolest tracking technology is coming down the pike to help monitor stress, heart rate, blood chemistry, germs, sleep apnea, genetics and more. We can gather our personal health data without always going to the doctor. Or the information can be transmitted to the healthcare professional to help monitor health. Collecting personal data can also save money and time. What used to be a time consuming procedure like testing for sleep apnea or monitoring stress can be accomplished in ones home. It is so exciting!
Technology makes my job so much more fun than it used to be. With food and exercise tracking devices, food information apps, mediation apps, exercise tracking apps, text, phone cameras (you would not believe how many food photos I get in a weekend :)) I can communicate with my patients on a different level. I have an app on my phone that has breathing exercises, medications and supplements, seafood watch for mercury in fish, yoga exercises, exercises for specific body parts and correct form, scanner to read food labels and there is even one called Think Dirty to scan your products and cosmetics for harmful chemicals. We spend so much time on our mobile devices (not very healthy) we might as well learn about how to live healthier!