Doctor Not In? Who Cares, With This New Monitor?

Next time you're sick, don't call your doctor.  Consult your monitor.

That's what's happening to medicine, writes Beth Carter at, and it's completely transforming healthcare.  No longer do you need to see your doctor for a physical.  Now electronic monitors can track it, along with your fitness level, calories burned, heart rate and a brand-new application for detecting biomarkers in your blood can tell your doctor whether you need more potassium in your diet.

Called InsideTracker, "By using insights drawn from blood work, the service helps individuals design his or her optimal diet and exercise program," Carter explains.

As Carter notes, she recently learned that, while all her levels were fine, she was doing so much exercise she needed more potassium in her diet.  There's probably no way a doctor could tell you that without running a bunch of (expensive) tests, and who would even think to test that, anyway?

So InsideTracker can, well, keep track of just about everything that's going on in your body to make it work right.

Though this new app is mainly for the healthy, as Carter points out, not the sick, she quotes Rony Sellam, CEO of Segterra, the Cambridge, Mass.-based company behind the service, “We’re trying to ask your blood, ‘What are you supposed to be doing to be healthy?’ ”

The whole idea?  Prevention, Carter reports.  "The idea is to prevent diseases and costly procedures, and to identify people at risk.

 “We’re able to tell you based on age, gender, what you eat and physical activity, exactly where you should be on those markers," Sellam told Carter.

So, is this for everyone or just for the nuts who run marathons and eat only berries and beans?   Ultimately, it could improve the health of the U.S.  The bottom line?  It might give us motivation to change.

Recently I purchased an electronic monitor that tells me how many calories I've burned during exercise.  It's surprised me both ways -- when it's particularly high, and when it's downright dismal.  But I noticed something the week I started using it.  I do more exercise now.  I want to see that little green arrow point up, up, up.

It's truly motivated me, and though I've always exercised a fair amount (though the monitor, after observing my activity for a week, called me an "occasional athlete"!), I've pumped it up, trying to run my distances a little faster (I've even started to sprint in the home stretch), swim a little farther and take a walk every night, when I can.  Will I keep it up this winter?

I hope so.  I won't swim, so I'll need to replace that exercise.  But there's such a hit when you see all the activity you've done in a day (most people are pleasantly surprised) and it's even allowed me to stop competing for the closest parking space at the supermarket.


Has it.


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