In addition to recording activity and calories, the Fitbit provides an online dashboard to manually record weight, blood pressure, glucose levels, and other factors. Because I would frequently look at my dashboard throughout the day, I found myself recording my blood pressure much more regularly. (Thanks to a family history of hypertension, I have a blood pressure monitor at both home and work. But I typically forget to use it for months. And when I have a doctor’s appointment, I invariably forget to bring the written record.)
On the negative side, the Fitbit’s graph of blood pressure data is fairly low-resolution and would be difficult to share with my doctor. And I couldn’t find a way to get the raw data or create a more meaningful printout. So for blood pressure tracking, I ultimately switched over to MedHelp, an online tool that lets you track a multitude of health trends, such as mood, pain, and ovulation, in a higher-resolution graph. Medhelp can be set to send e-mail reminders to update your chosen tracker daily, weekly, or monthly. (A downside to MedHelp’s blood pressure tracker: it doesn’t allow you to record multiple readings for a single day.)
By more closely monitoring my blood pressure, I discovered the significant effect that medications can have. Taking ibuprofen for back pain consistently boosts it by 10 or more points. The increases were linked specifically to the medication, rather than to the level of pain. Ibuprofen and other NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) have previously been linked to hypertension, but I didn’t know that. I hope I will be able to track these kinds of changes more closely with Withings’s new Wi-Fi enabled blood pressure monitor, which recently went on the market in Europe.
Previous Post: How Four-Legged Friends Disrupt Sleep
Tomorrow: Self-tracking Failures
How Facebook and Google fund global misinformation
The tech giants are paying millions of dollars to the operators of clickbait pages, bankrolling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.
DeepMind says it will release the structure of every protein known to science
The company has already used its protein-folding AI, AlphaFold, to generate structures for the human proteome, as well as yeast, fruit flies, mice, and more.
Inside the machine that saved Moore’s Law
The Dutch firm ASML spent $9 billion and 17 years developing a way to keep making denser computer chips.
This is what happens when you see the face of someone you love
The moment we recognize someone, a lot happens all at once. We aren’t aware of any of it.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.