Monitor Your Health in 2021… With Your iPhone?
Science fiction writers have speculated that someday we’ll have health monitors implanted in our forearms. And be able to view the screen through our skin at any time.
These monitors would register body temperature, blood pressure and cholesterol. As well as letting you know if you suddenly have a health condition requiring attention. Such as an irregular heartbeat.
This does not seem as farfetched as it once did. Advances in technology and medicine have made many things possible we never would have dreamed of.
For now though, most of us carry a tool that can do those same things. I’m talking about a smartphone. Not merely a communication tool, it can keep us informed about our fitness, nutrition and overall health.
Step by step
Downloading health-related apps on your cellphone can help you keep track of a number of important things. Such as your heart and respiratory rates, and body temperature.
In addition, you can monitor how many steps or miles you’ve walked that day. As well as if your resting heart rate is improving with increased exercise. And whether you’re getting enough sleep. Plus your blood glucose levels and blood alcohol content.
Among information you can input after downloading a health app is your body measurements. Including height and weight. Plus your birthdate, gender and blood type. As well as your allergies, medications you’re on and if you’re an organ donor.
Some apps will help you determine your body mass and body fat. As well as your lean body mass, fat and sodium intake, and other nutrition points.
Apple Health app
The most prominent of these health-related apps is Apple Health. Over the past six years it’s evolved to where it can pull in data from the Apple Watch and third-party apps.
If you have an iPhone, this app is probably already on your screen. If you have an Apple Watch, it’s on your app screen.
The Apple Health app does not track anything on its own. You need to pull in and/or input information from other sources. Including your cellphone.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be amazed at what this app can do for you. It will even recommend additional data regarding your health you might want to track.
Among the third-party devices that can increase data stored in Apple Health are Upright Go 2 Posture Trainer, La Roche-Posay My Skin Track UV and Beddit Sleep Monitor.
Others are Withings BPM Connect Wi-Fi Smart Blood Pressure Monitor and Withings Thermo Smart Temporal Thermometer. Plus Withings Body Cardio Wi-Fi Smart Scales and Withings Body Scales.
You can also add data to your Apple Health app through other apps. Including WaterMinder, Lifesum and Sleep Cycle.
As well as iFertracker, iHealth MyVitals, Garmin Connect Google Fit, Strava, Weight Watchers and MyFitnessPal.
Critical info for first responders
If you’re like me, you may wonder how an app like Apple Health keeps track of the number of steps you take.
It tracks movement by using an accelerometer motion sensor inside your iPhone. Smart watches and fitness trackers use the same kind of technology.
Another advantage to having a health-related app on your phone is that it could help first responders save your life if you are unresponsive.
You can set it up so certain information about your health can be obtained by another person from your phone. Even if your phone is locked. This would be kept in the Medical ID section.
And you could see your health records on your phone. Assuming your insurer or hospital is signed up for Health Records.
Hearing is believing
One of the newer features in the Apple Health app pertains to hearing. For example, when using AirPods, headphone audio levels are sent to the app.
If the sounds you’re hearing are consistently above 80 decibels, it warns you that you may be doing damage to your hearing.
As the Apple Health app continues to evolve, it will provide more than just raw data. It will give context to the numbers, revealing what they mean for your health.
It will draw conclusions and make you aware of your health trends. As well as progress being made (or not being made) in reaching health goals.
Health was a huge topic in 2020. It promises to be just as significant throughout 2021. With busy schedules, it’s nice to have a handy device to help us keep an eye on our physical wellbeing.