Our modern and tech-focused world allows us to fall into a sedentary lifestyle easily. We are often plugged into our computers at work, spend time on devices at home, and have automated home systems that can turn on our lights or TVs. Yet, technology can also encourage us to improve our health by giving us greater access to physical therapy, telemedicine, or even help us stay on top of our medications and manage diabetes.
Today, the rise of smartwatches and wearables like the Fitbit and the Apple Watch are revolutionizing healthcare in an entirely new way by allowing us to take charge of our physical and mental well-being right from our wrists.
Smartwatches and Healthcare
Wearable devices smartwatches are quickly becoming indispensable technologies in the healthcare industry. For patients, smartwatches can monitor your heart rate, sleep habits, and physical activity. For doctors, patients can then take that information and share it with your physician to gain valuable insight around your health to make alterations that could improve your overall well-being.
Smartwatches also improve your well-being by giving you access to apps designed around specific health conditions like diabetes. They also grant you access to tons of fitness, dieting, and mental health apps that encourage us to maintain a healthy lifestyle more conveniently than ever. Here are four ways smartwatches are improving our health.
1. Smartwatches Encourage Active Lifestyles
Are smartwatches making people more active? A recent survey showed that 57% of smartwatch owners started exercising more after purchasing a wearable device like the Apple Watch or a Fitbit. So, in short, yes. With a wealth of apps available, anyone can quickly jump-start a fitness routine that’s at a level designed for them. Need some encouragement? Devices like these also send out gentle reminders of when you’ve been sedentary to support an active lifestyle. So, how do exercise apps for smartwatches work? In terms of exercise tracking, many wearable apps fall into the following categories:
- Activity tracking: Many smart devices have built-in activity trackers that log your movement. Smartwatch can help track everything from steps per day, your heart rate, calories burned, and much more. Activity tracking apps also work great because they encourage many of us to meet our daily fitness goals and push our regular physical activity by displaying trends that set new objectives as you progress.
- Short workouts: These apps provide you with short interval workouts, easy to follow tutorials, and progress monitoring you can read from your wrist. Even if you only have 10 minutes a day, using them encourages many of us to increase our overall physical activity.
- Workouts on demand: These workout apps allow you to pick the type of fitness routine that works with your schedule and your skill level. You can pair your smartwatch with your phone or another device to get real-time readings of your overall accomplishments and the calories you burned whether you’re doing yoga, in a spin class, strength training at the gym, or a multitude of other activities.
2. Smartwatches offer personalized healthcare data
Wearables are revolutionizing the doctor-patient relationship by providing insights into your well-being that drives actionable care supported by data. You can program your watch to track your sleep, diet, physical activity, and other health information and share it with your doctor for better insight into your overall health. Apple Watches also monitor and record valuable heart-related information that’s saved lives. They also have the potential to detect chronic diseases, as well.
3. Wearables allow you to set medication reminders
For patients that live with chronic conditions that require frequent medications, or anyone that’s currently taking one, it’s essential to follow the prescription guidelines as directed by your doctor. While patients do their best to adhere to their medication schedule, it’s easy to miss a dose or forget to refill something. To ensure you’re managing your prescriptions correctly, smartwatch apps are making it even easier for us to set reminders that automate and track doses.
4. Your watch may lower healthcare costs
Preventative care and early disease detection are some of the best ways to reduce your overall health care costs by alerting you of potential health hazards sooner than later.
Research shows that smartwatches are improving the detection of certain heart diseases like atrial fibrillation (AFib) by picking up warning signs early through digital health sensors. Other studies suggest that wearable devices might also be able to catch other illnesses like the common cold. In addition to disease detection, smartwatches like the Apple Watch can also monitor heart function and other cardiac health issues through diagnostic data and its Electrocardiograms (ECG) function. Discovering an illness and seeking treatment early often leads to reduced medical costs.
5. Smartwatches allow you to track your diet and caloric intake
We all know a healthy diet promotes physical and mental well-being. While we have the best intention of sticking to our diets, it’s easy for us to lose focus or get distracted. Calorie counting, developing healthy eating habits, meal planning, and sticking to a schedule requires a lot of planning and attention. Fortunately, smartwatches have apps that can track and log your calorie intake for each meal, which makes monitoring calories a breeze. There are even apps that include a wealth of dietary information, with food items and the number of calories found in a typical serving as well. We all know a healthy diet promotes physical and mental well-being.
Northwest Primary Care Patient Resources
While smartwatches can help you monitor your health stats, it’s still important to see your primary care physician for routine checkups or when problems arise. As your healthcare partner, the practitioners at Northwest Primary Care are available to assist you with any health concerns you have. Please make an appointment at one of our Portland, Oregon clinics today to learn more about how we can assist you in your journey in improving your well-being.