We all want to lead a healthy lifestyle but can too much technology be problematic? This past Tuesday, Erica and I covered 12 personal health monitoring devices for the health 2.0 lifestyle. In today’s post, let’s talk about real user experience: the good, the bad, and the gimmicky.

FitBit

In an article posted on AllThingsD.com, Andy Smith, CEO of IAC-owned DailyBurn, told reporter Lauren Goode that today’s fitness tracking devices border on gimmicks: “I feel like these are not quite a gimmick, but are close to it...You get people to spend $100 to $150 bucks on something that’s just a glorified accelerometer—which, by the way, you have in your phone, too.”

Smith’s company, the Daily Burn (once upon a time known as Gyminee), is a fitness-data-tracking company that pivoted to focus primarily on fitness content because data tracking just wasn’t all that effective.

“[Data tracking devices] do help a small subset of people,” Smith said. “You find that there are type-A personalities that like to track everything, and that’s great. For others, it might give them a little jump start. But the value proposition of those devices after the first few weeks goes way down.”

Speaking of type-A, what happens when fun (or possibly gimmicky) technology becomes an obsession? We’ve all seen the classic signs of smartphone addiction, so it’s not too far of a stretch to predict that even this well-meaning, seemingly beneficial health monitoring technology can become almost destructive. Beth Teitell, writer for the Boston Globe, writes that her Fitbit does more than just track her activity, it rules her life. “On days I don't walk enough, I've caught myself saying ‘Fitbit is not going to be happy,’ as if the $100 gadget is my supervisor in a sales job, its compensation based on my success,” she writes.

And, what was once a perfectly amiable husband-and-wife partnership has turned into a serious competition of who can amass more steps. “I've gotten to the point where I don't even feel that I've worked out unless Fitbit is there to measure my efforts,” Beth laments. “It's the modern version of the old question about a tree falling in the woods, I guess. If a woman spends an entire day walking around the San Diego Zoo with her children, but forgot to charge her Fitbit, did she get any exercise?”

However, Retrofit CEO Jeff Hyman and panelists from Retrofit, WeightWatchers.com, FitBit, University of Miami Health Systems, and MapmyFitness say an addiction to being healthy isn’t always a bad thing. They believe a holistic approach to weight loss can positively drive healthy behaviors.

“With two-thirds of the nation overweight, we need to look at what we can do to create sustainable results,” said Jeff Hyman. “Technology gives us the tools for our teams of experts to analyze data and assist our clients on their journeys to health."

Personally, we’re bit gaga about all these health 2.0 gadgets. As fitness and technology nuts, we love seeing all these monitoring devices. However, we’re also huge proponents of evidence-based practice. Thus, we’d really like to see some research to back up all the pomp surrounding the gadgetry. Hopefully, they’ll hit the journals soon—maybe before it’s time to make our New Year’s resolutions. (If you’ve come across any studies, please share!)

What do you think of the debate around health monitoring devices? Are they gimmicky, obsession-causing, or just plain useful?

Interested in adding telehealth and wellness services to your practice?

Download our free guide to learn how.

Please enable JavaScript to submit form.
Triumph in the Triple-Aim Game: The Healthcare Executive’s Guide to Readmission Reduction, Patient Safety Promotion, and ACO Success - Regular BannerTriumph in the Triple-Aim Game: The Healthcare Executive’s Guide to Readmission Reduction, Patient Safety Promotion, and ACO Success - Small Banner
  • How Do Wearables Affect Patient Engagement? Image

    articleOct 19, 2015 | 4 min. read

    How Do Wearables Affect Patient Engagement?

    The idea of patient engagement is hardly new. But, if you were to define patient engagement in your own practice, what would you discover? Is it simply a buzz phrase? (Yeah; that’s a real thing ). Or, is there more depth to your definition? According to this HIMSS study , “Even without universal agreement on ‘one’ definition of patient engagement, two truths are emerging: a patient’s greater engagement in healthcare contributes to improved health outcomes, and information …

  • Future-Proofing Your Practice: Diversifying Revenue Streams Image

    downloadJan 7, 2016

    Future-Proofing Your Practice: Diversifying Revenue Streams

    What does it take to future-proof your practice? In this guide, we’ll talk about how you can incorporate health and wellness services to diversify your practice’s revenue streams and boost your bottom line. Ready to prepare your practice for the age of payment reform? Enter your email address below to download Future-Proofing Your Practice, Volume 3.

  • articleJun 4, 2012 | 3 min. read

    Surface Electromyography Gives PT Clinics a Competitive Advantage in Treatment

    Today’s blog post comes from Noraxon's Clinical Gait & Sports Performance Specialist Sally Crawford, MS, Biomedical Engineer.  Noraxon is a leader in manufacturing and distributing high-end tethered and wireless surface and fine-wire electromyography (EMG) instruments, software, sensors, and accessories.Thanks Sally! Surface electromyography (SEMG) offers therapists a goldmine of measurable patient data, including muscle recruitment, imbalances, timing patterns, pre- and post-treatment differences, and training successes. Having access to such a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use system allows clinicians to wirelessly measure muscle activity …

  • articleJun 12, 2012 | 3 min. read

    Increase Patient Performance With Dartfish

    Lights, camera, action! Let’s talk Dartfish video analysis software, an ideal technology for therapists to help patients increase athletic performance and prevent injury. Background In an effort to further develop the digital imaging industry, five international business and IT specialists founded Dartfish (originally known as inMotion) in 1998. The once-small startup quickly grew to 50+ employees with offices in six countries and a reputation for developing innovative, interactive internet content enhancements and cutting-edge training applications for sports, …

  • webinarAug 6, 2012

    Digital Health: Join the Revolution

    It’s time to boost your #mhealth clout. In this webinar, we’ll discuss innovations in digital health technology. From social media to wellness monitoring devices, this webinar covers the health 2.0 revolution and shows you why it’s not only relevant to the therapy field, but also to your clinic. This webinar was hosted by WebPT Product Expert Michael Manheimer and WebPT Sales/Marketing Ninja Lindsay Bayuk Webinar attendees will learn: Why social media is a valuable resource for you …

  • 3 Emerging Trends in OT Telehealth and Technology Image

    articleMar 15, 2019 | 10 min. read

    3 Emerging Trends in OT Telehealth and Technology

    If you’ve been to Ascend —or any business-related rehab therapy event—you’ve certainly heard this common complaint: “There are so many patients who would benefit from OT, PT, and SLP—but they aren't making it into our clinics.” To make matters worse, we therapy professionals aren't very good at retaining the patients who do come to see us. And, of the few patients who complete an entire course of therapy, many don’t comply with their home exercise programs (HEPs) …

  • Top 10 iPad Apps for Physical Therapists Image

    articleMar 31, 2016 | 4 min. read

    Top 10 iPad Apps for Physical Therapists

    Oh, Internet, where would we be without you? Probably here , actually. The world has changed dramatically since the dawn of the World Wide Web (seriously, some of us probably don’t even remember what we did in the time of B.B: Before Browsing), and the PT clinic is no exception. EMR usurped paper, servers gave way to the cloud, and the desktop computer has fallen to the smaller and more powerful laptop—and in some cases, the even …

  • articleJul 24, 2012 | 4 min. read

    Patient Portals Improve Provider-Patient Relationship

    As an amazing health care provider, of course you want the best relationship with every one of your patients. But as a solid business owner, you also want to maximize your profits and reduce your overhead. Often these goals conflict. The good news is they don’t have to. Have your cake and eat it, too. Or in this case, cultivate an excellent provider-patient relationship and streamline your practice’s processes—with the help of a patient portal. What is …

  • articleAug 26, 2013 | 5 min. read

    Innovative Product Feature: Jintronix

    In honor of this month’s rehab innovation theme, we’re featuring several new products and companies that are bridging the therapy and technology gap. These innovators are using technology to improve patient outcomes and experiences in therapy, and to us, it doesn’t get much better than that. First was IKKOS and then Sway . Third on our list? Jintronix . We were lucky enough to exchange emails with Shawn Errunza , Jintronix’s Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.