Heart Health Gadgets

Let me just start by saying – there are so many gadgets and devices that you can purchase, to help you monitor your heart.  It is a growing industry and with mobile technologies, it becomes even more affordable for people to purchase these gadgets.

The Global digital health market is trending upwards, with wireless and mobile health trending at $100+ billion annually, and growing.

digital health industry trends

Gadgets, apps and instant access to your data anywhere, makes it so simple for you to track and monitor your health.  What’s even better, you can share your metrics/data with your medical teams, and that should, in turn, give them even more insights into your progress and adjust your treatment accordingly.

Although prices for apps are relatively cheap, some gadgets are still fairly expensive.  It can be a significant investment in digital health tool. You may soon run out of space on your smartphone and might not have enough arms to carry all devices.

Based on personal experience, you have to be careful of not going completely overboard, and buy any gadget you find.  Do your research before you buy one of these devices.

Many gadgets monitor the same or similar health data and may present data slightly different.  You have to select a device that meets your needs and stick with it.  Too many options make it complicated to get a proper picture of your heart health.

After being released from the hospital, I was constantly in high alert mode.  I had the urge to check my vitals, primarily heart rate (BPM) constantly to make sure I was ok.  It became an obsession to know how my heart was performing.

As such, I invested in a few bare essentials which gave me a total view of my health.

Blood Pressure

qardio-armIt’s funny how your senses increase when you go through a terrible event.  You can suddenly feel if your body moves your blood pressure goes up.  Keeping an eye on the blood pressure is something I never did, and yet something my doctor was asking me about regularly.  So, I invested in an electronic wireless device called Qardio Arm.

According to their website, it has actually been clinically validated.  It is also a little more expensive than most devices, but has a cool app that works on the iPhone … and most likely Android too.

Just a word of advice, do not take (measure) your blood pressure repeatably within a short time frame, using the same arm.  And do not leave the device on your arm.  Doing so will give you incorrect readings. I learned the hard way.  (more about that in other posts)

Your arm will not properly “release” pressure and next readings will increase … and in turn freak you out as your blood pressure will go up.  And we all know that high blood pressure is bad for you.

Finger Pulse Oximetry

finger-pulse-oximeterNot too sure why I actually invested in this device, but it was relatively cheap ($20) and I used it when I started doing light exercises.  Honestly, you do not need to invest in this device.  It was a spur of the moment purchase by me as I had one constantly while in the hospital and felt I needed it.

The purpose of this device is simple.  It measures how much oxygen your blood is carrying.   It shows a percentage of how much oxygen your blood is carrying compared to the maximum it is capable of carrying.  Anything higher than 90% is normal, although you should make sure it’s around 96-98%.  It fluctuates depending on what you are doing, so don’t panic if it goes down to e.g. 94%.

It is absolutely rubbish to use if you do a little more exercise as sweat makes the readings unreliable, and also if your finger gets a little cold.  Hence, only use it if you sit still and if you absolutely need to.


thermometerYep, you want to be able to take your temperature when and if needed.  You probably have a good reliable thermometer already, so there is no need for me to explain the inner workings of this device.  Fairly inexpensive.

I would recommend not buying the anal thermometer.  You might forget where it has been used in the past, and it is not ideal to place it in your mouth afterwards… 🙂

When I was a kid, my parents only had the anal version and it was a traumatic experience to use it.  Also because it was also used with large amounts of vaseline, and my mum specifically asked me to be still as it was made of glass and contained mercury.

Ok, digressing slightly.  Nowadays they come in plastic and are digital.

If you have one, awesome!  If not, get one – just in case.

Wearable heart/pulse rate monitor

fitbitMy recommendation is to invest in a wristband device that constantly measures your heart rate (BPM).  It gives you instant and easy access to your vitals, and can quickly set your mind to appease if you feel something changes.

I invested in a Fitbit and it has been excellent.

The model I bought was the Fitbit Versa. Yes, they are a more expensive investment, but worth it.  It’ll set you back $180-200 but certainly beats the more expensive Apple Watch.

What I really like about the Versa is that it measures and tracks my progress for some key areas; heart rate (BPM), my daily steps, my sleep patterns, water consumption, and my weight.

All these are extremely important to monitor to ensure that you are progressing well.

It is very simple to use and battery life is awesome.  You can easily go 2-3 days without charging it, and you have access to a nice dashboard on the computer if you decide to register when setting it up.

The Versa has been attached to my arm for the past 3+ months and has been my reliable companion through some health moments where I felt unwell.  Just by looking at my BPM I could see I was ok, and then I calmed down.

For me, this device is a must-have for any recovering heart patient, and I’m giving it two thumbs up and a large smile.

Thank you, Fitbit for keeping me on track and helping me heal @fitbit


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