Easy management of your health concerns is just a health app away
Smartphones really are smart. They allow us to track all kinds of health data — thanks to health apps and Bluetooth technology pairing with wearable tech (smart watches, interactive ear buds, heart rate monitors and other products). “And, this ability to track and collect current data empowers patients and their conversations with healthcare providers,” says Bryce Wylde, director of functional medicine at P3 Health in Toronto. “I have seen this in my own practice. Besides some incredible technology that can monitor acute heart health, blood sugar, and even diet, another one of my favourites for monitoring health is heart rate variability, HRV.”
In addition to getting notifications that your heart rate is abnormally high or your blood sugar is low, Wylde says this data can save your life, not just in the short term but over your lifetime. “These problems can eventually lead to serious life-threatening illnesses such as heart attacks, kidney disease, and even cancer.”
Thankfully, we have the technology in our hands, literally. An estimated 24 million Canadians own smartphones, according to statista.com. And downloading health apps is on the rise, 30 per cent of Canadians have downloaded one or two, shows a 2016 report from catalyst.ca. Apple’s Health app — which comes preloaded on your phone — has more than 7,000 other apps that interact with it, says Jay Blahnik, Apple’s director of fitness and health.
So how do we take our smartphones and use them to help manage our health concerns? Well, that depends on your health concern.