Wow! I can’t believe it’s 2012. Seems like just yesterday that everyone was talking about Y2K. But, here we are, another year gone by and another year to look forward to. For some, this is a time to make new resolutions. For me, I will continue to focus on the things that I am thankful for and that I feel are important for me and my family – fitness and health. As I get older, I can’t take these for granted anymore and being in the high tech industry means I’m always interested in gadgets that help enable my efforts.
For fitness, cool gadgets like a heart rate monitor helped me achieve my goal of running my first half marathon when I turned 40 (in fact, I’ve now completed three and plan on doing more). At first, the heart rate monitor was just a cool gadget, but I quickly realized how big of a motivator it was for me when I started monitoring, tracking and collecting all of my data, from my heart rate to my pace. So, this gadget is helping me stay healthy and young so I can keep up with my kids, take care of my family and hopefully encourage them to always be active.
For health, I have blogged about dealing with Alzheimer’s as a caregiver for my father-in-law over a decade ago. I am now dealing with this devastating disease again since my mother-in-law was officially diagnosed with it last summer. I’ve also realized just how many people this disease affects as several of my friends have loved ones with Alzheimer’s. Although there is not a cure, it’s one of the many diseases that I believe telehealth systems can help with.
Other major diseases that affect an even larger population are diabetes and heart diseases. Recently, the results of a major study conducted in UK showed just how significant of an impact telehealth systems can have – pretty impressive reductions in patient deaths (45%), emergency visits (15%), emergency admissions (20%), elective admissions (14%), bed days (14%) and tariff costs (8%). These results show that telehealth has a beneficial impact on healthcare costs which is extremely important, but it also shows that these types of systems help provide better care to those struggling with health issues.
What advances do you envision for 2012? This article gives some high tech health ideas for 2012, from mobile access to data and remote care to artificial intelligence and 3D printing for medicine. I can see several of these help me in my fitness and health efforts, such as social health networks. (All right, I am intrigued by a wireless weight scale but not sure I’d want it to share that data with my Facebook friends. )
Happy (and Healthy) New Year!