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New Activity Tracking Apps Are Changing Healthcare Forever

You may not use one today, but sometime in your lifetime these devices will become a part of our healthcare routine.

A few months ago I received an UP health tracking wristband as a gift and quickly realized that the world of basic health tracking would never go back to simple thermometers, stethoscopes and pedometers. Our smartphones are making inroads into the health and fitness market in ways that we would never have imagined just a few years ago. Besides being able to monitor vital health statistics like weight, heart rate and even blood oxygen, many new devices even capture steps, burned calories, elevation climbed and distance traveled.

There are a variety of tools available, some standalone but most are used together with Smartphone apps. Now that massive amounts of data can be processed in nanoseconds, these devices are able to provide insight into our health habits that in the past we would have to guess about. From the perspective of an alternative health care provider, this is very exciting, often we relay on the patient to provide insight into their health habits, with these new tools, patients have more information to bring to the table, allow us doctors to focus on finding the right treatment given the circumstances. Below are a few of the health tracking tools that I’ve seen on the market. Believe me when I tell you the new activity tracking apps are changing healthcare forever. You may not use one today, but sometime in your lifetime they will become a part of our healthcare routine. If you decide to explore the apps and gadgets, take the time to research the ones that seem like a good fit for your lifestyle and health goals. What’s fantastic about the current world we live in is that we can almost bet on these tools getting better and better.

Jawbone UP
The UP system is made up of 2 parts, a wrist band and a Smartphone app, the wrist band collects various data during the day and monitors your sleep at night. The band then passes on the collected data to the app which analyses the data and displays it in a format you can understand. You can also manually add other data like food and activity to create a whole picture of your health. It seems like a good start and I have enjoyed the additional insight into my own activities.

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Nike+ fuelband
It is also a wrist band and app combination but with added functionality. The band tracks your activity and calories burned. It is adaptable to multiple sporting activities and allows you to set daily goals for e.g. number of steps or calories target.

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Fitbit Zip
Is a wireless activity tracker that syncs with your mobile phone to upload data collected such as number of steps, distance and calorie usage. It is a small discreet clip on device and also allows you to set daily goals. You can easily check your performance against the set goals.

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Withings
Withings focuses on creating a wide vatiety of tracking products and apps for self care and for the care of others.
Like many of the other tracking products, Withings provides access to cloud computing and storage facilities as part of the offering, turning these data collectors into smart connected devices. They have been around since 2009, with a wide variety of products ranging from a simple weight scale linked to your smartphone to an advanced pedometer that can help tract your sleep patterns, activity and provide insight and goal setting.

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Lark’s Larklife
It is wrist band that facilitates healthy eating, manages your workout and tracks your sleep at night. This is one of the more expensive tracking tools on the market. It advertises additional functionality including its ability to improve not only your health but productivity at work too.

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Moves iOS app
In my opinion the Moves apps trumps every other health tracking and fitness tool out there. For one it is FREE and all you need is an iOS or Android phone. Once you download and install it you now have a very powerful tracking device in your pocket, no need for any additional wrist band or other gadgets. The app captures all the movement you make throughout the day and displays your daily activity to you. This gives you instant feedback on your activity levels and if not satisfactory you are able to up your game because you know exactly where you are lacking.

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Striiv Play
Strive is a sophisticated smart pedometer, it is self contained with inbuilt apps designed to make activity and fitness fun. One advantage over other similar devices is that it does not require any Smartphone to sync with. It is designed more as a game but with ultimate health benefits and personalized activity challenges based on your abilities. Strive is based on a system that adapts the challenges it presents you based on the data it has collected on your previous activity levels. It also offers a social and community dimension where you can challenge other “striivers” to walkathons for good causes. The innovative MYLAND sis the first fitness game based on a pedometer. It encourages people to be more active for them to progress through the game.

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As you have seen there are a variety of health tracking tools and applications available to choose from. Each one has got its advantages and disadvantages as well as different functions. It all depends on your health and fitness goals which particular device you will go for. However, the most important thing is that you participate fully in your own health care. Let me know what you think, leave a comment below and I will be sire to answer.

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