Tag Archives: Health Measures

Fitbit Ultra Review

Like a lot of people today who work involves computers, I sit at my desk a lot. This has led to the spreading of the waistline and the raising of the weight on the scale. I know I should exercise more, but I lack motivation. The one thing that does motivate me is being able to keep track of the numbers. I have tried to keep track of my progress manually, but usually that only last for a few days. I would quickly forget to do it, and when I did do it was probably not very accurate. I started to look into different devices that I could use to keep track of my exercise routine. I have tried to use Runkeeper on my phone, which works well, except that to use it I have to bring my phone with me and not all my pants have pockets. I needed something that I could clip on to my pants or shirt. After looking at several products I ended up getting the Fitbit Ultra

The Fitbit Ultra is 2 inch in length and 1/2 inch across. You can clip it directly on to your pants or shirt. It also comes with a belt clip in case you are wearing thick pants. There is also a wristband. The setup is fairly easy, the first step is to register at the Fitbit website. It will ask for your height, weight, age and goal. Then you have to place the Fitbit into its base and plug the base into your computer via USB. Once you’ve paired your device with your account the two are than linked. The Fitbit Ultra is built to be worn all the time. It keeps track of the number of steps you take throughout the day and the number of miles. It can also measure how many stairs you climb during the day. Although I haven’t quite figured out how many stairs you have to walk before it will register. You can log your food and water intake through the Website. It also allows you to record a specific event like a morning run or walk. The Fitbit will also work if you use a treadmill or a bicycle. Although according to the forums, it doesn’t measure the increase calorie outtake when you increase the incline. It is not waterproof, so you cannot wear it while swimming. You can also wear it at night using the wristband to keep track of your sleep patterns. To see how you are doing throughout the day you simply push the button on the Fitbit and the numbers will appear, as you push the button again it will cycle through the various options. The Fitbit Web site also has an active and helpful community which I appreciate.

Some people in the reviews on Amazon and also on the Fitbit Web site question its accuracy. I wore it Friday on my morning walk and also used RunKeeper, both had very similar numbers when I finished. In my mind consistency is more important. For example if I walk a route on Monday and the Fitbit says I walked 2 miles on Monday and I walk the same route on Tuesday it should again say I walked 2 miles. I do think with some exercises like bike riding you have to experiment on where to place the device to get the most accurate measurements. The other main complaint was the lack of customer service, I tend to avoid customer service if I can help it so I really can’t comment on that.

If you are getting into an exercise program and want to keep track of your progress, Fitbit Ultra is a good way to do it. Do you use the Fitbit or a similar device, and do you like it.

Health Measures by Independa

 My mother is 83, she is physically healthy, but she is in the on set of dementia. She lives alone and the closes relative to her is my brother, who is 30-40 minutes away. She has no interest in computers or having a wireless network to be setup in her house. However, because of her age and dementia it would be nice to be able to monitor her health and to remind her to go to her appointments. This is where Health Measures by Independa may come in.

The Health Measures doesn’t require any cellular coverage, broadband service or wireless devices in the home. It will work through landline or mobile phones. It requires no-hardware, no-installation and is a low-cost alternative to complement Independa’s Artemiss solution. It records weight, blood pressure, glucose level, temperature, pulse and heart rate among other health related information. The information is collected and then merged with other information that is already in the system to provide a comprehensive biometric report. The information is then presented on the Independa Caregive App. The caregiver can then use that information to remind the patient to take medication, exercise and to go to medical appointments. Allowing the elderly to stay in their homes longer, safer and more comfortable. If a patient is required to be hospitalized and then is released, the most dangerous period that require a return to the hospital usually happens within the first three days after discharge. Health Measures can help provide the information to hospitals or caregivers that can help prevent readmission.

The Health Measures system will become available in February after a month of testing.  It requires no-hardware, no-installation and is a  low-cost alternative to complement Independa’s Artemiss solution. Independa CEO said it the best when he said:

“We have designed Health Measures to help mitigate expensive and often debilitating conditions that commonly arise during transitions in care,” said Independa CEO Kian Saneii. “Our new service will enable hospitals, other caregiving organizations and family caregivers to begin monitoring a care recipient’s biotelemetry as soon as the person returns to their residence. Professional and family caregivers will receive timely information, avoiding the need for time-consuming and costly routine home visits.”