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Fitness trackers and personalised training programmes – the way to get healthier at work

The lifestyle programme group also received behavioural support, such as individualised exercise training schedules, an activity tracker for monitoring progress and revising goals, regular chats with a sports scientist via an app, and monthly face-to-face meetings with the research team.

Apple’s watchOS 6 wants to make the Watch a more complete wearable

With watchOS 6, Apple is hoping to make its already excellent wearable even more useful. But how could it possibly do they, you cry? Well, turns out the Watch actually has room for improvement. We know, right?

Light pollution: the dark side of keeping the lights on

Light pollution is the excessive and obtrusive light produced by humans at night. This light is from artificial sources, mainly electricity from houses, offices, streetlamps, billboards or car headlights...

Alone together: how mobile devices have changed family time

There is now widespread concern about the amount of time children spend staring at screens – with many people worried about the negative impacts mobile devices might have on health and well-being. Concerns have also been raised about the influence of technological change on relationships and face-to-face interactions. Sherry Turkle, a professor of the social studies of science, came up with the...[Read More]

VO₂max: the gold standard for measuring fitness explained

If you could pick one measure to evaluate your health, what would you pick? Blood pressure? Cholesterol? These are commonly measured by your GP, but there is something that is more informative: maximal aerobic capacity, otherwise known as VO₂max. This measure tells you your maximum (max) rate (V) of oxygen (O₂) uptake and use during exercise. The greater this is, the better your health. In fact, V...[Read More]

Could AI take control of human birth?

Instead of looking up at the sky to see whether you need an umbrella, people increasingly ask virtual assistants such as Alexa. And they may be wise to do so. AI methods are powerful – capable of anything from analysing astrophysical data to detecting tumours or helping to manage diabetes. An algorithm that analyses shopping patterns recently detected that a teenage girl was pregnant, earlier than...[Read More]

Driverless cars may make you sick – but there’s a fix

Driverless cars will usher in a transport utopia, at least according to many of their proponents. Concept art for these futuristic vehicles often show passengers sat facing each other, reading, working or enjoying some other activity as their car does the driving for them. I would argue that one of the main attractions of an automated vehicle is being able to do something else while you’re safely ...[Read More]

Digital diagnosis: How your smartphone or wearable device could forecast illness

What if you could forecast sickness, before you even had any symptoms? Your smartphone and digital data might be able to help. If you carry your smartphone with you everywhere, then it’s probably already tracking a lot of data about you and your behaviour. If you have a wearable device, you’ll be generating a multitude of fitness data too. Put it all together and you get your “digital phenotype” –...[Read More]

Why health apps are like the Wild West, with Apple just riding into town

The heart rate monitor built into the new Apple Watch has sparked sharp debate over its risks and benefits, even though the feature was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration. But out of the spotlight, the FDA has been doing away with regulatory action altogether on many diagnostic health apps targeting consumers, seeking to accelerate digital health adoption by defining many of these as “low...[Read More]

New Apple Watch adds heart tracking: here’s why we should welcome ECG for everyone

Leaked details of the new iPhone models were quickly relegated to second tier headlines after Apple’s latest product announcement. More people seem to be excited about the fact that the new Apple Watch will come with a built-in heart monitoring electrocardiogram (ECG) function. An ECG is a simple test that can be used to check your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity, designed to detect any und...[Read More]

Turning your health data into a “wellness score” might not be good for you

Cameras watch us almost everywhere we go. We know the internet tracks our searches and purchases, and our smartphones can be used to monitor our activities too. As sociologist David Lyon points out, “this is a culture of surveillance.” In this watched world, our data is compiled into products to be used by businesses, not only to discover what we buy, but to understand how we are doing financially...[Read More]

‘Use this app twice daily’: how digital tools are revolutionising patient care

Imagine you’ve recently had a heart attack. You’re a lucky survivor. You’ve received high-quality care from nurses and doctors whilst in hospital and you’re now preparing to go home with the support of your family. The doctors have made it clear that the situation is grim. It’s a case of: change your lifestyle or die. You’ve got to stop smoking, increase your physical activity, eat a healthy balan...[Read More]

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