Your Walking!! Great, But Are You Monitoring Your Vitals?
Posted on July 13 2018
We are d definitely living in a tech savvy age! Think of it, electric cars, spaceships that can take off and return to earth, landing in an upright position! Getting more per acreage of plant growing foods than ever before, thanks to providing farmers with the ability to monitor the soil density against the current amount of groundwater per acre.
Then there is the “Wearable” fitness craze. Its reported that the number of smart devices that can be worn on an individual's person, whether it's on their arm, a strap across their chest or even a device that is worn under their clothes to monitor their vitals, is forecasted to rise from 27 billion to 73 billion in 2025.
The portion below was taken from a post of “TechRadar”
Thanks to advances in sensors, newly-approved accessories and improved deep-learning software, a future in which our wearables become as important as our doctors aren’t far off.
We spoke to Rachael Fisher, a Customer Service Advisor for recycling company Bywaters, who last year had her life potentially saved by a wearable.
“I decided to randomly check my heartbeat to see what my resting BPM was using a smartwatch to my shock it was showing it was 140/150bpm (the average is between 70 to 100bpm),” Fisher told us.
“I thought this was a one-off, but as the weeks progressed into months, I realized that my heart was never slowing down,” she said. “Because of this, I had a blood test and it became clear that I have an overactive thyroid, so severe that my doctor said I could have had a heart attack at any moment. I am now on beta blockers and other medication which is slowing my heart down, thankfully.”
Fisher’s story is remarkable, but she’s not alone. Similar stories about how a mainstream wearable device has alerted users to an issue that proved life-saving have made headlines in recent months.
Recent studies have found that the heart rate data collected from devices like the Fitbit Ionic to be nearly as accurate as a medical grade electrocardiogram test.
So, it makes sense that people without previous medical issues are finding out they might have problems they didn’t know about, like an overactive thyroid, irregular heartbeat or a blood clot, with the help of these consumer devices. And it’s likely that as the tech advances, this will become even more common.
When wearables first entered the market, the data they collected was fairly simple, including step counting and how often you moved around at night. This was because most devices used an accelerometer, which does a good job at detecting movement but little else.
Fast-forward to the present day and now many devices are fitted with sensors that are able to gather all kinds of data about our health, fitness, and lifestyles.
From keeping tabs on your stress levels with respiration tracking via an accelerometer, through to monitoring your VO2 max (the measurement of the amount of oxygen you use up) as your workout to gauge your fitness levels, all bases are covered. This means they do far more than the souped-up pedometers of the past and in some cases have become as useful and smart as some of the medical-grade tech you’d usually only find in hospitals.
The sensors that are proving to be particularly useful in both telling us more about our health and detecting underlying problems are those that are built to monitor heart rate activity.
So just how does a wrist-based heart rate monitor read your heart functions?
Most wearable devices (especially those worn on the wrist) use photoplethysmography. It works because blood is red, so it reflects red light and absorbs green light. This means by using flashing green LEDs you can accurately detect how much blood is flowing through your wrist.
The more blood, the more green light is absorbed, so you can get an accurate reading of BPM (that’s beats per minute), as well as HRV (that’s heart rate variability), which is the variability in the length of the intervals between heartbeats and can be a good indicator of the health of your heart...
We’re at an exciting time, with wearables fast becoming important diagnostic tools not just for medical professionals, but for everyone else too.
So, by all means, get out there and lace up your walking or running shoes, but make sure you're monitoring your heart along with the distance and time its taking you to reach your weekly goal. If you begin seeing that it's taking you a little longer to walk/jog or run the same distance, or you're more out of breath in achieving your goal than usual, please see your family doctor to get a workup, just to make sure there is nothing amiss. After all, using a device like the Fitbit Ionic is one of the reasons you can stay on top of your fitness goal safely!
See you down along the road, your fitness buddies here at PedometersUSA.com!