Technology to track and actively improve your health is exploding on the market
By Leslie Pepper
Health tech gadgets have gone way beyond the smart watch. These days, technology puts health care right in your hands, offering you power and control you’ve never had before.
“You might have heard the phrase ‘tech is in everything.’ These days we’re certainly seeing that phrase in what we call lifestyle and health technology as well,” says Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of market research for the Consumer Technology Association.
Health-care technology has exploded—this year sales of wearables are expected to hit around $42 billion. And the future means a greater diversity of product offerings. “As we move forward, personalization and customization options will continue to drive the market, allowing users to relate technology to every phase, want, and need of their life,” Rohrbaugh says.
We’ve scoured the market to find innovative, state-of-the-art gadgets that are easy to use. Diversity Woman does not endorse these products and has not tested the claims made by the companies. Please consult your physician before using.
My Skin Track UV
Think you’re safe from the sun because it’s cloudy? Find out exactly how much UVA and UVB radiation you’re exposed to by clipping My Skin Track UV onto your clothing. The sun activates the battery-free sensor so there’s no need to worry about charging every night. Tap My Skin Track UV against your phone to update the app and store up to three months of data. In addition to providing UV info, the app offers humidity, pollen, and pollution levels and gives you product recommendations to help improve your healthy skin habits. By the way, you will still get UV exposure on a cloudy day. $59.95; Apple.com and select Apple stores.
GLO Brilliant Teeth Whitening Device
Too many late-night coffee runs making your teeth duller than you’d like? Enter the GLO Brilliant device, which combines LED light and gentle heat to accelerate whitening with hydrogen peroxide so your teeth can look professionally white without a trip to the dentist. The mouthpiece ensures that gums and other soft tissue are safe and free of discomfort during the process. For best results, the company says, you’ll need to wear the mouthpiece for a total of 32 minutes every day for five days, or until your teeth are as white as you want them (up to 10 days in a row). $199; Gloscience.com
UPRIGHT GO Smart Wearable Posture Trainer
Working in front of a computer all day is one of the biggest contributors to poor posture. This can also lead to repetitive-stress injuries. Remedy that with the UPRIGHT GO trainer. Stick the trainer onto the center of your upper back and switch on the training mode. Whenever you start to slouch, the system alerts you with a gentle zap. Do this daily to train your body to stand up straighter, then put the system in tracking mode to monitor your posture throughout the rest of the day. Use the app to check your posture statistics, your goals, and how you’ve improved over time. $69.95; Uprightpose.com
Chronic pain is a tough pill to swallow. And the pills often necessary to control chronic pain can come with dozens of stinky side effects, along with the potential for addiction. That’s where Quell 2.0 comes in. The company claims that its patented technology offers up to 10 times more powerful pain relief than typical over-the-counter TENS devices, with no unwanted side effects. How it works: A band wrapped around one leg sends neural pulses to the brain to block the pain signals throughout the body. It’s powered by the Quell app, which helps you personalize and manage your therapy. For best results, the company suggests using Quell at least three times daily for the first 30 days. $299; Quellrelief.com
Withings Blood Pressure Monitor
Who says a blood pressure cuff can’t be stylish? The Withings Blood Pressure Monitor, which uses Bluetooth to connect with the app, could not be easier to use or lovelier to look at. Slip on the cuff, turn it on, and the Health Mate app automatically launches and guides you through the setup and user process. You’ll get instant color-coded feedback, plus you’ll be able to track your readings over time to see how your lifestyle and any necessary changes affect your blood pressure. $99.95; Withings.com
Willow Pump 2.0
One of the toughest parts of going back to work after giving birth is keeping up with breast-feeding. Typical breast pumps are bulky and anything but discreet. The Willow Pump works with no cords, no long tubes, and no loud, annoying sucking noises. Attach the spill-proof milk bag inside the pump, pop the cover on, and you can pump in any position without leaking. Tuck it discreetly into your bra, and you can kick back at your desk or even go to a meeting while pumping. (Okay, a meeting may be going too far.) The app tracks milk volume and pump time, and provides tips to help you pump most efficiently. Store the milk in a fridge in the same spill-proof bag and you and your baby are set. $499.99; Willowpump.com
If you’re one of the 40 million Americans who suffer pain from allergic rhinitis (aka hay fever), this handheld device, now available for presale, may be your new best friend. Glide the device along your cheek, nose, and brow bone to send low-level electrical currents through the area and stimulate the nerves to help clear congestion and alleviate sinus pain. The one-button control offers three intensity levels to customize what works best for you. Use whenever you feel pain, up to four times a day. Each treatment session takes five minutes. $149; Tivichealth.com
TouchPoints for Calm
Too many things on your to-do list? Try TouchPoints, which uses a proprietary technology called BLAST (bilateral alternating stimulation tactile) to help you chill out. Any time you feel anxious, turn on the pair of devices, which work on your wrists, in your pockets, or even in your socks. The gentle vibrations on either side of your body alter the body’s stress response, reduce negative brain wave activity, and prevent your body’s fight or flight mechanism from activating. According to company claims, research shows a 70 percent reduction in stress in a mere 30 seconds. $159.99; Thetouchpointsolution.com
If you want to take an EKG but don’t have time to get strapped up in a doctor’s office, try KardiaMobile. This tiny monitor, which is small enough to carry in your pocket or attach to the back of your smartphone, detects atrial fibrillation (also called AFib or AF), an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. Put your fingers on the monitor, then look at the Kardia app on your smartphone to see if your heart rhythm is normal or in atrial fibrillation. You can even send a copy of the images to your doctor’s office. $99; AliveCor.com DW
Leslie Pepper is a freelance writer based on Long Island, New York, who specializes in health and wellness.