The companies behind health tracking technologies know this is a problem, and they’re increasingly promising to suggest actions that people — or their physicians — can take from all the data that the tracking gadgets collect.
One big limitation of health devices, though, is that many people don’t know what to do with the data they see about their heart rate or how many hours they slept. “We’re not doing a very good job of educating people what to do with that information.
But she said that the lack of transparency made it difficult to know why a health tracking technology might suggest that someone needed another hour of sleep or could be at risk of a dangerous heart abnormality.
Amazon said, for example, that its health tracking system might be able to suggest which workout is most effective for someone.
That’s the piece that’s missing,” said John Jakicic, the director of the Healthy Lifestyle Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. (Side note: For some people, having data on their sleep might actually be counterproductive.
What used to be relatively simple gadgets that logged how many steps people took have morphed into holistic systems that promise to guide us and our doctors to improve our health, and maybe even spot illnesses like Covid-19 before we know we’re sick.
Amazon, Apple and other companies are also trying to integrate information from their health technologies into electronic medical records.
It’s likely going to be cheap because the U. S. government is essentially forcing TikTok’s owner, the Chinese internet giant ByteDance, to sell the app’s service in the United States.
For now, health and fitness tracking systems can be very useful for some people — but not for everyone.
So, if you’re considering buying a health tracking technology, consider what you realistically might get out of it.
Amazon’s new tracking wristband and accompanying app show how body-worn health technologies have evolved in the last few years.