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Surprising Science

Gadgets Come to the Health Market

As gadgets that measure health metrics have come onto the market, often linked to the Internet or a smartphone, a new movement in self-monitoring has been born. 

What’s the Latest Development?

A new series of gadgets allow individuals to monitor health metrics like temperature, heart rate and blood pressure with more ease than ever before. A step beyond the old pedometer or bathroom scale, today’s health devices are linked to the Internet and smartphone applications which can graph changes in health data over time, giving users a more accurate picture of their physical health. From an at-home blood pressure cuff to a non-invasive baby thermometer, technological advances in devices stand to improve individuals’ health.  

What’s the Big Idea?

Does having a more accurate view of one’s health necessarily put one on the road to better health? That, at least, is the hope of the health monitoring movement known as “self-tracking” or “the quantified-self,” an approach toward health embodied in a host of new gadgets that give instant satisfaction to lingering queries about one’s health. What people are noticing with the help of new health gadgets, says Farhad Manjoo, is that one needn’t do anything overly strenuous to get in slightly better shape, which must be welcome news. 


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