Over the past 18 months I have been fascinated with the rapid explosion of health based app and devices. In the recent past I have been reviewing and testing a number of devices this week was no exception. For the past week I have been testing the SweetBeatLife App on my iPhone while wearing a HealthPatch monitor attached to my chest.
Let me start out by saying this was probably the coolest thing I have reviewed in a while. Not only were people I showed this to intrigued, I was able to get insights into my own health and stress levels. Lets first talk about the HealhPatch. I received two HealthPatch’s as part of my review kit. As seen in the picture the HealthPatch is like a big Band Aid with sensors and electronics. inside. Once activated, the HealthPatch is paired via Bluetooth to communicate with your phone. There are simple instructions on how to attach the HealthPatch to one of three locations on your chest.
I opted to place mine in the upper portion of my left chest. For the fellows you will have to shave a section of your chest as the HealthPatch requires a smooth surface to adhere to, so that the two probes on the skin side of the patch can make contact with your bare skin. The instruction book says the patch should stay on for 3 days. Mine started to peel at about day 5 and I was using the Active lifestyle patch with max adhesion.
I was not particularly careful with my HealthPatch when I was in the shower, I let the water blast on it and at the same time I did not take care to shield it from soap. The HealthPatch folks were pretty slick in how they designed it to keep the electronics dry.
Once stuck to my chest the SeetBeatLife app took over. I had to record a baseline, and I did that laying down in my living room and following the apps instructions. From then on all I had to do is turn the App on if I wanted to measure my Stress Level, Heart Rate Recovery & HRV for Training. I used the Monitor Stress the most, and tested Heart Rate Recovery several times after 20 minutes on the treadmill. The App and monitor do much more though. You can measure with hospital-grade accuracy, your heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, calories burned, stress, steps taken and other health indicators twenty-four hours a day.
In all honesty, there where some measurements that this device made that I had to go Google to figure out. I had no clue what some of the results meant, and if the measurement was good or bad. I am not sure this app is ready for everyday regular consumer usage. But for athletes that are training for competitions, I can see where the monitoring this app can provide would be very valuable in preparing for an event.
I encourage you to preview all of the information screens that the SweetBeatLife App provides to get a handle on the incredible data sets that this app can provide. I would think that health professionals would love to have this as an inexpensive way to monitor a patients health, that he or she was concerned about without ordering a full heart study.. We have all known folks that have had to wear a heart monitor for a couple of weeks and the bulkiness of carrying around the monitoring device.
The cost of SweetBeatLife app itself is $9.99. The starter HealthPatch kit is $199 which includes 5 HealthPatch’s. Refills are $99.00 for 5 more HealthPatch’s. Due to the ongoing cost, I feel this as well will limit consumer adaption. But for the athlete that is training for an upcoming event, the risk of over training is very real and this app and monitoring system will likely be very useful. The benefits compared to other system is pretty simple once you stick the patch on your good to go, and there is nothing bulky attached to you.
I will have to admit though it was pretty cool to watch my heart beat on the app screen and compare my respiration rates to national averages and the host of other readings. The only final concern I have with any of these health apps is with Privacy. You are storing very private health information in the cloud, and largely with a unknown third party. There are currently no laws on the books to prevent the resale of collected information.
Disclaimer: SweetBeat and MySweetBeat are not medical devices or medical applications. SweetWater Health, L.L.C. does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Disclaimer: Geek News Central review of this device does not constitute a substitute for proper medical care, and anyone experiencing any health concern should seek the treatment of a licensed doctor. Information provided in this review is meant to be informational only, and not an endorsement of the device accuracy or health benefit.