For those who are not familiar with #HackingHealth, I’m not referring to the type of hacking that involves accessing private information or damaging other’s computer systems. Instead, it is the Life Hacking definition:
any productivity trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method to increase productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life; in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem of a person in a clever or non-obvious way.
Now back to the home healthcare. With the rise of quantified self, and the consumerization of wearable computers new devices to measure and monitor healthcare are available at increasingly more affordable rates. Walking through the Apple Store or Future Shop there are sections dedicated to fitness or self monitoring. Bluetooth blood pressure cuffs, wireless scales, posture monitors, fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, and the list goes on. These devices are focused on giving you your data, some mention sharing data with healthcare providers and many have some social aspects.
For the past few years I’ve been trying a number of these devices and learning about myself. As a data nerd I find it interesting to learn, monitor and track my own health, and as nurse I’m very excited and curious about the opportunity to help others improve their health. Over the holidays I thought I’d try see how these devices might help my parents. Looking into the options it is amazing the low cost what you can measure.
- Blood Pressure Cuff ~$80 -190
- Weight Scale ~$99-159
- Glucose Monitor ~$75+
- Activity Monitor (Fitbit, Jawbone UP, Withings Pulse) ~ $49- 129
There are lot of options out there. Since, health is so closely related to nutrition, sleep and activity I decided to keep it simple and start with activity monitors and see how it goes. Over the next few months I’ve given my parents Fitbit and Withings. Looking forward to seeing how it can help us talk more about health and encourage active living.