Innovation in healthcare is taking many forms. From biotechnology to mobile apps, our "curve of innovation" is getting steep and the applications to our lives are rushing at us with amazing speed. A new device can now measure our physical activity and provide a simple, app-based presentation of these data. It's an automatic activity and lifestyle diary. And it's a peek at the future of healthcare...
It's called Up by Jawbone. http://www.jawbone.com/up It's an interesting device that's worn around your wrist and tracks some aspects of our lives including physical activity, sleep and eating. The activity mode will tell how many steps you've taken, when you're inactive for too long and also help establish goals to increase exercise. The sleep mode monitors our sleep patterns and provides a histogram of sleep that is broken into awake, light, and deep sleep. It will even vibrate at a optimal morning time based on selecting a "wake time" that isn't during a deep or REM cycle. Finally, you can track the foods you eat and establish patters to optimize nutrition and reveal how certain foods can make you feel (better or worse).
Here's the point: The Up is here to stay! Perhaps not this actual product as some bugs still need to be resolved. But the application to health and wellness it significant and important! Direct monitoring of these activities can provide essential information to guide your individual wellness, but also can be a tool to track activity and sleep as a measure of drug or device efficacy--by a physician or a pharmaceutical company. The clinical and lifestyle utility is endless. And as technology advances, the use of small and unobtrusive devices to record blood pressure and blood chemistries (like serum glucose), ECGs and EEGs, respiration and a host of other yet discovered uses will make devices like the UP a breakthrough in health and fittness that will help redefine how well we take care of ourselves!
In the not-to-distant future, a simple device like this will be a standard tool for the primary care physician. You will download (or drop off) your "digital health diary" to the doctor's office and have the stored information be the basis for your "virtual physicial". You don't need be there--just leave the data. And with certain conditions, where frequent monitoring is required, this can provide superior care at reduced utilization and cost.
So, "way to go" Jawbone Up!!! You're a major step forward in the new world order of health and wellness!