Consumer health tech has been booming in recent years. With recent developments of consumer-friendly products that allow people to track their health in more sophisticated ways than ever, many are left wondering what their best bets are. Monitoring your health can help you track your progress more closely at home as you make, meet, and achieve your goals. Many of your new toys will have health tracking capabilities with integrations to make it easy to put into Apple Health, Google Fit, or whichever home base you’re using. Here are our top 4 picks for health tech picks this holiday season. They make great gifts for all your friends and family… and even for yourself!
Apple Watch 4
$25* ($399 out of pocket)
The Apple Watch 4 has gotten a lot of press recently about its ability to not only track your heart rate as previous models have done, but actually interpret whether your heart rhythm is normal or abnormal. While many doctors are nervous about what this could mean for people self-diagnosing heart problems and having false positive results, we think it’s great!
Pros: Lots of people have palpitations that happen only occasionally. This allows people to take it into their own hands and help their doctors diagnose problems that might not be there long enough to diagnose with the usual tests your doctor might do. The ECG rhythm analysis can be shared with your doctor directly from the app. Plus, it also does all the usual fitness tracker and smartphone things you’d expect.
Cons: Starting at $399.00, it’s not exactly a bargain. That said, Apple is known for making quality products that are built to last. The ECG app isn’t out yet, but is likely coming out soon.
*Some health insurance companies are offering deals and incentives on the Apple Watch, which can make the out of pocket cost as low as $25. Check with your insurance to see if this applies to you.
AliveCor KardiaBand, $99
Blood Pressure Monitor
With about 40% of US adults having high blood pressure and it being one of the most important modifiable risk factors for heart disease, knowing your blood pressure is crucial. At-home monitors make it easy to keep track of how well you’re doing, whether your lifestyle changes like diet and exercise are making a big enough difference, and letting you better inform your doctor to help decide whether anything other steps are necessary to help meet your blood pressure goals.
Pros: If a blood pressure monitor could be described as sleek and sexy, this is. It uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone for a simple, easy-to-use device that puts all your information in one place. Better yet, after checking your heart rate and blood pressure, it allows you to share your readings with your doctor (or whoever you’d like) directly from the Qardio App. It even has a heart rhythm detector that will notify you if your heart rhythm is abnormal, such as with atrial fibrillation. At a company level, Qardio supports Go Red For Women, an initiative to help raise awareness and prevent heart disease in women, which makes us like this blood pressure cuff even more.
Cons: Sincere there’s no display on the actual device, you need your phone, tablet, or wireless device in order to operate it. There are certainly cheaper at-home blood pressure monitors out there for those looking for a no-frills approach.
Omron Evolv, $99
My Fitness Pal
$49.99/year for Premium
There are many health apps out there that let you track your diet and fitness activities. We find that the most important aspect of this category is usability. Apps that are too complicated to use end up just taking up storage on your phone rather than helping you be healthy.
Pros: With its enormous food library, they make it very quick and easy to log your meals just by scanning bar codes or using search words. The app integrates with many other apps you might be using to track other health activities such as Apple HealthKit or MapMyRun, which makes it more appealing. Although some may not find the “game-like” feel of the app fun to use, it does provide motivation. The free version is enough for most, but there’s a Premium version available with many additional features and of course, no ads, which is great.
Cons: Using the free version, it’s hard to argue there’s a downside. Some don’t like the interface for searching for food items, but at $0.00, it’s worth a shot. Sometimes, seeing is belieiving when it comes to diet and exercise.
Yunmai Premium Smart Scale
A scale is something that checks your weight, right? True, but this one does so much more. Often times, people are wondering whether their fat or muscle contents are contributing toward their weight. It’s good to track weight, but this device has several other features that will make you excited to impress it day after day.
Pros: As a single device, it easily lets you track your progress for weight, BMI, fat content, muscle content, and even its estimate for your body age among other things. It easily connects to your smart phone so you can keep your numbers with you all the time. Better yet, it allows for up to 16 users so you can invite your whole family to track their numbers as well.
Cons: For a scale, it’s on the pricier side. Also, if you have questions or issues, several people have mentioned that their customer support is lacking.
Omron Body Composition Monitor, $68.95
Heartbeat Cardiovascular Risk Assessment
Overall Best Pick
Covered by major insurances
When it comes to gift giving, the best gifts are the ones that are thoughtful, personal, and long-lasting. Nothing says you care better than giving the gift of heart health. Heartbeat is a modern cardiology practice that puts patients first. Our number one goal is to help you prevent heart disease and as a team, we can do it.
Pros: With two locations in NYC and fast scheduling directly from the website, you don’t have to wait long enough to convince yourself not to come. There is a whole team of engineers, designers, educators, and doctors standing by at all times to provide you with a doctor’s visit you’ll never forget and will keep you coming back year after year to make sure you’re on the right track. Have symptoms? Wait times for appointments are typically no more than 1-2 days and all testing is done on site.
Cons: The only bad thing about a Heartbeat visit is the one you didn’t make! Start your risk assessment online to see where you stand. Don’t live in NYC? Ask us about where are next offices will be opening. You can also follow us on Twitter, our blog, and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on everything you need to know about heart health. We look forward to seeing you soon!
If you have questions about health tech and/or your heart health, ask us!