AMITIAE - Wednesday 16 February 2016
Anyone Who Had a Heart: iPhone and Health Monitoring (Bangkok Post, Life) - Amended
By Graham K. Rogers
There are also solutions like the FitBit bracelet and Jawbone devices, some of which are on sale here. Some people have always been concerned about their health and exercise regularly. It is only in recent years that we have been able to input a wide range of data and display an analysis of results on our devices.
Some solutions provide input to help monitor exercise. My mother is replacing her pedometer for a FitBit so that she can more easily see how far she has walked in a day. A while back, I had the Nike+ System, with its Bluetooth transmitter, that also produced similar data. Nike+ also allowed interested users to share data, setting up a form of international competitiveness, driving users to improve personal performance.
Monitoring Options - General to Specific - with HealthKit
I initially set up the Health app to display data on the Dashboard automatically from Walking/Running, Steps and Flights Climbed. Certain patterns emerged. I walk more in the classroom or when shopping. Lower readings would spur me to do better, as the Nike+ had done. I did try to add water input - particularly important in a warm climate like Thailand - but this fell by the wayside, even with an app that nagged me to drink more.
Something I did not know was reported in an article by Paul Horowitz on OS X Daily (always a great source for Mac and iOS users). He points out that specific details about any of the tracked items in Health app can be revealed by turning the iPhone on its side (when the specific item is open).
User Input: HealthKit (right) and Argus
Apple Watch Monitoring Synchronised to iPhone: Movement, Exercise and Standing
The Watch app only provides a figure. There is no additional information about the state of the heart beat. The Argus app can also check heart rate: the user places a finger over the camera lens: a new way to take such measurements. While it may not be totally accurate, like the Apple Watch, it can provide a reasonable guide.
Argus output includes the heart rate and a graph of heart beats. I compared the graph with those produced by two other users and my profile was different in each case, so the display may provide a fair indication of the beats.
There is no clear indication as to the medical accuracy of such readouts and any odd indications (such as arrhythmia) should be checked by a doctor. Some of the data can be viewed using the Argus Watch app. The Watch monitors heart rate throughout the day, while Argus data points are added manually when the user makes a check.
The app can be used to communicate with friends and allow goals to be set. It also synchronises some data with Apple Health, so with the additional input the data displays are likely to be more accurate.
Late news:Apple Watch credited in helping save heart attack victim (MacNN) - As I suggest above, in this case a man noted that his normal heart rate had shot up and sought medical help: doctors operated almost immediately and saved his life.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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