San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
By all accounts, the emergence of the smartphone and tablet as tools for mobile computing, and especially the apps that drive them, has started a revolution in healthcare and fitness.
Just as consumers discovered 10 years ago that the iPod could enhance their runs or gym workouts, today’s fitness buffs are faced with a rapidly exploding range of apps and sophisticated digital monitoring devices that track every aspect of their body’s response to exercise.
No longer are we merely counting laps or minutes; now we are monitoring our heart rates, blood pressure, calories burned, stairs climbed, metabolic rates and even how much oxygen we are taking in while on the treadmill.
Further, we are recording that data, sharing it online with friends through social networking, tracking our progress historically, and being presented with suggestions and even customized workouts by our handheld and wearable devices.
And as health care costs continue to rise, the medical industry is embracing the suddenly ubiquitous technology.
Popular tablet and smartphone accessories include monitors for blood pressure and glucose levels. For someone like my stepdad, Leo, who has a heart condition and diabetes, home monitoring devices can cut down the number of visits to doctors’ offices, lowering his health costs.
In addition, an emerging class of tablet devices for seniors, designed to engage the memory impaired, reminding them to take their medication or to keep that doctor appointment, is allowing independent living with virtual supervision. Anyone who has had to watch an elderly parent leave his home for an assisted-living facility can understand and appreciate the value, both monetary and emotional, that such a development offers.
So much of the technology the CE industry offers is solely for entertainment or for doing business -stuff that encourages us to sit on the couch or at a desk, sedentary. The emergence of portable computing through handheld devices has opened up new vistas for fitness, well-being and health education. For once, that new CE product isn’t dulling minds; rather, it may be saving lives.