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February 26 2014

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February 18 2014

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February 06 2014

Apple's New Job Post Fuels iWatch Rumor Mill

Are you a physiologist looking for a new challenge? Apple may want to hire you. The company is currently looking for a User Studies Exercise Physiologist. The position is likely to involve working on Cupertino's long-rumored "iWatch" product.

The job will require employees to "design and run user studies related to cardiovascular fitness & energy expenditure, including calories burned, metabolic rate, aerobic fitness level measurement/tracking and other key physiological measurements." The role will require application of "relevant knowledge to the design of products and their testing/validation through user studies." Read more...

More about Health, Apple, Fitness, New Products, and Iwatch

February 04 2014

It's Okay to Be 'Fat In Public,' Declares Body-Positive Blog

Amanda Scriver, a heavyset redhead wearing a cherry knit cardigan and a black beanie, looks into the camera. She's sitting in her apartment, head and shoulders in the frame

"I'm here to talk about the journey I've been through in coming to love my body," she says.

That journey began with Weight Watchers, Scriver explains in the video, called "Ama Riots Against Diets & Loves Thyself." She holds up a notebook she kept in 2009, where she meticulously recorded every meal and exercise session, keeping a tally of calories consumed and burned. "I would get on that scale and see how much weight I had lost," she says. "It's kind of demoralizing when … you ask them why you haven't lost anything, they tell you that you've done something wrong. Read more...

More about Blogs, Health, Features, Medicine, and Food Blogs

February 01 2014

Report: Apple to Dip Into Fitness Tracking With iOS 8

Your future iPhone will tell you your heart rate, blood pressure and even glucose levels, a new report suggests.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple is working on new fitness and health-focused iOS software (iOS 8) that will launch later this year. The news indicates the long-rumored iWatch, which would likely integrate with the fitness apps, is nearing a debut too.

While iOS 7 was rich in design updates, iOS 8 iOS 8 — codenamed Okemo after a ski resort in Vermont (a common theme for Apple's internal codenames) — will be less focused on the interface. It's expected to work alongside new iPhone hardware packed with intelligent sensors that can track your body's movement and health status Read more...

More about Mobile, Health, Apps, Apple, and Fitness

January 30 2014

Text Messages Curb the Lasting Effects of Malnutrition in Malawi

CHIKWAWA, Malawi — Community health-care worker Stephane January had never used a cell phone before a text message-based nutrition-monitoring program was introduced to his rural Malawian community's district in September 2012. Now, January spends every Thursday sitting outside the Makwira Health Center in Chikwawa, punching children's measurements into simple messages that are sent to a central hospital in the country's capital of Lilongwe.

Each text message is formatted identically, beginning with "GM" for growth monitoring, and followed by a string of numbers representing the child's identification number, date of birth, weight, height and arm circumference. Read more...

More about Mobile, Health, Sms, World, and Social Good

January 23 2014

Tiny Call Center Provides Health Services to 200,000 People

BALAKA, Malawi — Doreen Namasala presses talk on her neon pink desktop phone to answer the latest call to the VillageReach health hotline. Speaking in Chichewa, the hotline worker asks the caller for her name, whether she is pregnant, when she is due and what symptoms she's experiencing. With the help of a custom software program and spiral-bound manual, Namasala will recommend a plan of action — perhaps getting rest or visiting a medical professional — after a few minutes on the phone.

"The callers are living in areas where transportation is difficult for them, like a pregnant woman walks for five kilometers to go to the health center, so we advise them to avoid overworking," Namasala says between answering calls Read more...

More about Mobile, Health, World, Social Good, and Africa
The New Weight-Loss Procedure You Can Swallow

Swallowing a pill to lose weight usually means ingesting chemicals that suppress your appetite, but a new weight-loss pill in the UK contains nothing but a balloon.

Obalon is a new gastric balloon treatment that comes in the form of a pill. It does not require any invasive surgery.

Patients swallow the pill, which is attached to a micro-catheter. Once it arrives in the stomach, the micro-catheter inflates the balloon to the size of an apple. The micro-catheter is then removed. The idea behind the procedure, which takes roughly 10 minutes, is that the balloon gives patients the sensation of fullness; this means they eat less and subsequently lose weight Read more...

More about Health, Weight Loss, Weight, Healthy, and Nutrition

January 15 2014

Suffer From Motion Sickness? These Theories May Explain Why

For some lucky folks, reading in the car is a go-to road-trip activity. For others, just the thought of picking up a book while riding shotgun sends them running for the bathroom.

This TED-Ed animation narrated by Rose Eveleth attempts to explain why about one-third of the population falls into the unlucky category of people who suffer from motion sickness

Eveleth makes it clear that doctors and scientists don't know the exact reason for motion sickness. But the theories behind this queasiness offer some neat insight into the goings-on inside our bodies when we experience motion-induced nausea. Read more...

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January 12 2014

Elephant Shark Genome May Hold Answers for Human Health Problems

Who knew elephant sharks held potential answers for health problems such as osteoporosis and poor immune systems?

An international team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Germany discovered new insights into human health by sequencing the elephant-shark genome

Several key findings were made from the sequenced elephant-shark genome, primarily that sharks lack the unique T-helper lymphocytes, which were long considered to be an essential immune-system defense against infections and disease. Without T-helper cells, the human immune system becomes more susceptible to infections, an issue observed in AIDS patients Read more...

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January 10 2014

16 X-Ray GIFs That Will Turn You Inside Out

X-rays are incredibly useful medical tools, but they don't have to just be for doctors. They also make for cool works of art.

While the x-ray's primary use is to find broken bones or other ailments, they can give you a rare and fascinating glimpse at the wonders of the human body. In this case, they make for fantastic GIFs.

Take a look at what's moving around under your skin — it's enough to make yours crawl.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Ruhrfisch

More about Health, List, Lists, Science, and Animated Gif

January 08 2014

'Race Yourself' Google Glass App Gamifies Exercise

If your 2014 resolution is to get in shape, then "Race Yourself" might just be the app to get the job done

As its name suggests, the Google Glass app allows users to race against themselves, and beat personal-fitness records by completing virtual games. Users can also race against friends or projections of professional athletes, including Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt.

“Imagine racing against your own personal best, chasing a friend you want to beat or even escaping a 400-tonne cargo train traveling at your target marathon pace," company co-founder Alex Foster said in a release. "By blending reality with virtual reality, we can make workouts a lot more interesting and motivating." Read more...

More about Health, Apps, Fitness Apps, Apps Software, and Newsy

What CES 2014 Is Really About: Your Connected Future

You're at the doctor’s office for your annual check up. At the end of the physical, the doctor gives you a prescription to take to the pharmacist … and a smartwatch. The doctor tells you that it wants to monitor your heart rate and activity for the next several weeks to determine a baseline of your health and fitness. 

If the doctor is concerned with your heart, she might also give you a sensor that is injected into your bloodstream. She says that this sensor can alert you to a possible heart attack two weeks before it actually happens. 

Then you go home, in a car that drives itself, while you catch up on the work you missed while at the doctor’s appointment. 

At home you open the door and use your smartphone to turn on the lights in your home, set the TV to record the next episode of Downtown Abbey and preheat the oven. 

“Play Beethoven’s 5th Symphony,” you say to nobody in particular. Moments later, the familiar notes are blasting through your house. You sit down on the sofa—perhaps the only thing in the house that doesn’t have its own data connection—wave your hand at your television to turn it on and say, “call Tim.” In a minute you are video chatting with your husband who is at a conference in Chicago. 

You eat dinner, watch that episode of Downton Abbey and go to bed. While you are sleeping the smartwatch that the doctor gave you monitors your breathing and sleep rhythm and uploads the data to a personal secure cloud that only your physician can access. 

A few weeks pass. Eventually, the doctor calls and says, “don’t worry. Everything is OK. The sensors say that your heart is just fine. See you next week.”

All of this may sound like a weird version of science fiction. It’s not. This is the future you.

Sensors In Your Body

The sensor that can be injected into your veins to monitor your bloodstream is already a reality, sort of.

From left to right: Ericsson's Hans Vestberg, Andrew Keen, Qualcomm's Paul Jacobs and AT&T's John Donovan at CES 2014 From left to right: Ericsson's Hans Vestberg, Andrew Keen, Qualcomm's Paul Jacobs and AT&T's John Donovan at CES 2014

“We are doing a clinical trial in San Diego of a sensor that will get injected into your bloodstream and tell you two weeks before you have a heart attack,” said Qualcomm chairman Paul Jacobs in a panel discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (Actually, the research is intended to "validate" use of the biosensors; actual proof that they can actually predict heart attacks is most likely years away.)

The smartwatch that monitors your heart and fitness activity? That exists in a variety of forms. FitBit and the Nike FuelBand are the most prominent, but companies like Intel have created new watches that function on without need to connect them to a smartphone.

The new Intel smartwatch, announced by CEO Brian Krzanich at the CES keynote presentation on Monday, even has a “smart geo-fencing” feature that can keep track of where you are and what you are doing. Say your grandmother is ill and starting to suffer from dementia. She often loses her way and become confused to her surroundings. A smartwatch like the one that Intel announced could keep track of her and give you an alert if she leaves the grounds of the nursing home where she lives. 

The future of computing is not just the ability to get push notifications to device you wear on your wrist, answer a phone call or take a picture. It is about gathering and using data to make your life better, easier and more productive. The machines should make life less complicated. Companies like Intel and Qualcomm are leading the charge in innovation by building the platforms, processors and tools that will fundamentally alter how people live their lives. 

For instance, take the new “Edison” chip from Intel. The chip is essentially its own smart computer that can be implanted into just about everything. When Krzanich announced it at CES this week, he showed it off with a baby’s onesie that could monitor how the child was breathing, its temperature and even the position it's laying in.

This may sound kind of creepy, but baby monitors are already an essential item for every new parent. Chips like Edison and its progeny will create the next generation of systems for our everyday lives.

The World That Is Connected To Everything

If we are talking about the once and future definition of “mobile computing,” we look at a world where our smartphone becomes a hub that can control everything around us. Processes and behaviors can become automated and we use the smartphone to monitor and control everything from our homes to our cars.

“I just want my machines to coordinate with my other machines and leave me out of it,” John Donovan, AT&T's senior executive vice president of technology and network operations, said at CES this week. “The mobile phone will be the remote control of your life.”

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf

“We are very, very pleased to see the trend of the smartphone leading us to growth in other industries,” said new Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf at a question and answer session at CES. “We will drive it in tiers. Across device types and price points.”

What Mollenkopf meant is that the explosive growth of smartphones is now informing the next generation of computing. The same processors that make smartphones so smart are now turning up in consumer products like smartwatches, thermostats, home appliances and more. For instance, ARM-based processors power gadgets like the Nest thermostat that can learn if you are home and automatically change the temperature for you.

Even legendary science fiction author Isaac Asimov could not have predicted how intelligent ours systems will eventually become. We are driving computers everywhere, into every aspect of our lives. The effect of this is not easily quantifiable because the scope and impact is massive. A few years ago, bloodstreams sensors or smartwatches seemed like crazy pie-in-the-sky topics among geeks sitting at the pub. 

Today, it is a reality that will rapidly become the norm.

Tags: Health

January 06 2014

Fitbug Rolls Out Personalized Fitness Plans for Tracker Lineup

LAS VEGAS — Low-cost fitness tracker Fitbug rolled out a series of subscription-based plans for its wearable device users at CES this year, designed to coach users through health weight and fitness goals.

From new mothers who want to shed baby weight to those training for marathons, Fitbug's new KiK Plans is a 12-week program created by dietary and fitness experts across various fields. The company will offer activation cards at retail stores or directly through Fitbug.com, with plans starting at $19.99. The plan works with the company's lineup of Bluetooth wearables, including the Fitbug Orb ($49.95), Fitbug Go ($49.95), Fitbug Air ($49.95) Read more...

More about Mobile, Health, Gadgets, Fitness, and Tech
Fitness Gadget Skulpt Measures Quality of Your Muscles

LAS VEGAS — The bathroom scale doesn't always tell the full story: You're working out and eating healthy, but as you shed fat and gain muscle, your weight might stay the same. Although this might be discouraging to many, a new Bluetooth device aims to paint a bigger picture of your overall fitness profile

Following a successful crowdsourcing campaign on Indiegogo, which raised nearly $290,000, startup Skulpt unveiled a gadget called Aim, the world's first wireless device that determines the health of your muscles

To determine the composition, the device, which is smaller in size than an iPhone, presses against the skin where key muscles are located (specifically the biceps, triceps, abs and thigh). By measuring how a current flows within those muscles, data is collected and then synced to an online dashboard. Users can track body-fat percentage, set goals or share the data with others. Read more...

More about Mobile, Health, Fitness, Ces, and Startups
World's First Connected Toothbrush Will Keep Cavities Away

LAS VEGAS — You'll have no excuse but be gingivitis free at your next dentist appointment, thanks to the world's first connected toothbrush that keeps daily tabs on your brushing habits.

Called the Kolibree smart toothbrush, the device was announced on Sunday at the 2014 International CES show in Las Vegas. The toothbrush, which will ship later this year, provides details about your brushing habits, improving your overall dental health. Price will range between $100-$200, depending on the model (details about different versions aren't yet available).

After downloading the accompanying app and connecting it to the toothbrush via Bluetooth, each brush stroke is recorded. The data then syncs to the app and reveals if you brushed long enough and reached important parts of the teeth and gums. The app can wors with several toothbrushes, so a whole family can participate. It also rewards improvement and gives a score to help encourage both adults and kids to improve. Read more...

More about Mobile, Health, Tech, Apps Software, and Gadgets

December 27 2013

7 Gadgets to Create a Relaxing At-Home Spa

A few hours at the spa can make all the difference, but finding the money or time for the trip might just cause you more stress. Luckily, you can pick up gadgets to recreate elements of the spa experience in your own home. That way, you can enjoy quality time on your own schedule

Whether you have a spacious house or a tiny apartment, you can find cool technology for calm. Here are seven gadget ideas to help you start relaxing your body and mind

If you have any favorite tools for at-home spas, tell us about them in the comments. Read more...

More about Health, Gadgets, Features, Contributor, and Lifestyle

December 26 2013

A Healthy Diet Really Does Cost More

Eating right really does cost more, according to a recent review study that analyzed diet and price information from 10 countries.

People who eat a very healthy diet, like one rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish, end up spending about $1.50 more per day, on average, than those who eat a less healthy diet, like one focused on processed foods, meats and refined grains, the study found.

That adds up to about $550 extra dollars yearly for those who eat healthy, a cost that could represent a real burden for some families, said study researcher Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an associate professor at Harvard School of Public Health. "We need policies to help offset these costs," Mozaffarian said in a statement Read more...

More about Health, Fruit, Us, World, and Lifestyle
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