Wireless Complete Health Monitoring System
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Healthcare could very well be the most exciting area when it comes to connected technologies today. More specifically, home health, which includes things like glucose monitors, aging-in-place services for seniors, and even wellness and fitness technologies, has the potential to transform the way we take care of ourselves. It seems every analyst firm has its number for just how fast and big this market can grow—most citing in the upper billions of dollars in just five years.
It can be easy to chalk up such grandiose growth numbers to simple market hype. But given the rate at which more people are becoming in-tune with their health and wellbeing, I would venture to say we actually have a chance of achieving great heights when it comes to home-health solutions. If the technologies and networks progress at the rate the vendors are proposing, the only factor I truly see standing in the way of growth for home-health devices is consumer adoption. Perhaps more so than any other category of connected technologies, there needs to be a connection between the consumer and the home-health device. In other words, I as the patient need to feel I can trust the results of the device and have enough confidence in its performance that I allow it to supplement the care of my doctor or caregiver.
Establishing that trust was priority No.1 for me when I received the Wireless Complete Health Monitoring System from A&D Medical. In all, three devices comprise the system from A&D: a wireless activity monitor, a connected scale, and a wireless automatic blood-pressure monitor.
A&D Medical has been manufacturing and distributing healthcare products for both home and professional use since 1977. All of its home care products are marketed in North America under the LifeSource brand name and leverage both wired and wireless technologies, including Bluetooth and ANT+ technologies.
Each of the three products in the Wireless Complete Health Monitoring System can be used independently, but collectively they form an integrated solution, which A&D says provides everything you need to track critical indicators of your health and wellbeing.
Another bonus of using all three products together is the fact LifeSource offers ActiHealth, an online dashboard where you can track your data from each of the three devices from one source. For me, I found this to make the most sense—I could possibly relate a weight gain to the fact I was not taking ‘x’ amount of steps per day.
Registering each product on the ActiHealth dashboard required entering the serial number on the back of the device. Each device comes with a USB that you plug into your computer, which then allows it to wirelessly upload data. For example, with the XL-20 Activity Monitor, data is offloaded when the device comes in close proximity (roughly 30-60 feet) of your computer. The device attempts to find the USB transceiver every 10 minutes when you are active and every 60 minutes when you are not active.
So now that all three of my devices were registered, it was time to make that personal connection with the Wireless Complete Health Monitoring System. First up was the UC-324THW Precision Scale. It’s hard to develop an affinity for something as straight forward as a scale. In the case of the Precision Scale, the weight readings were consistent with my regular scale at home, so it’s all good. You’ve earned my trust Precision Scale—feel free to send my results to the online dashboard.
As for the Wireless Activity Monitor, it took a while to get used to this device. Strapping it on the laces of my shoe as instructed, I went about my normal daily activities. The preset daily goals on my ActiHealth dashboard were as follows: 5,000 steps, 200 calories, 60 active minutes, and two miles. No problem, I thought.
I am a pretty active person, working out at least three times a week. But the truth is I am a white-collar worker who sits at a desk from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Still, I try to make a point of moving around throughout the day, knowing it’s not the best idea to sit in my chair for that long. But as my little experiment started and my activity monitor began logging only about 1,500-1,800 steps a day while I was at work, I must say it was a bit eye opening. Given that I probably used most of those steps to grab something to eat made it even more appalling. My only saving grace was the knowledge that I was making up for it during the evenings, but it’s interesting to see just how tied to the desk one can get on a daily basis.
The funny part is the activity monitor did get in my head a bit. I was intrigued each time I would hit refresh on the dashboard to see how many steps I had taken. I found myself crying out, “No way!” on more than one occasion when I thought my activity tracking device had cheated me on a few steps here and there. I even caught myself taking a few extra steps on my way back to my office at times—just to make my results seem more satisfactory.
The sensor even passed the “fake out” test, where I would sit at the desk and mimic walking in my chair just to see if it would throw off the count. When I hit refresh I was pleased to see that my deception wasn’t fooling the Wireless Activity Monitor. For that, the device definitely earned my trust … and a little bit of respect too!
As for that third piece of my Wireless Complete Health Monitoring System—the blood-pressure monitor—our relationship got off to a rocky start. The first time I strapped the cuff over my arm and took my reading I was taken aback. My initial reading hit an extremely high level! I didn’t know whether to conduct my next interview or call my doctor. Certainly my stress levels have been up lately, but the results caught me completely off guard.
I decided to calm myself and give it another shot. With a sigh of relief my reading came back at a level more consistent with what is considered “normal” for me. A quick check with the manual gave me some tips as to what could have thrown off the reading.
I was scheduled to see my doctor for a routine visit, so I knew I would soon get a chance to confirm my findings with a professional. Much to my relief, my doctor came back with results much more in line with the second reading.
It’s not that I didn’t trust my device. I just need reassurance from time to time that the machines are doing their job, especially when it comes to my health.
Nevertheless I will keep a close eye on my blood pressure. Furthermore, I will even take more time during the day to just get up and move. Sometimes I get caught up in deadlines or making calls and fail to realize just how long I’ve been in my office.
I’ve always considered myself a pretty health-conscious person. I try to eat right as much as possible, exercise a few times per week, and take my vitamins. But I would gather that even the most health conscious of us could be doing more to improve our overall wellbeing. And if there is one thing I can take away from my experiment, it is that my eyes are a bit more open to my day-to-day activities.
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