You are reading Fitness trackers and apps: here is why they can help


Fitness trackers and apps: here is why they can help

March 22, 2018

These tools range from the application for counting the steps you take in a day (resulting in a burned calorie report) to the multifunctional watch that can trace a full account of the quality of our sleep. There are also applications designed to prepare a useful training program as a roadmap to follow for fitness novices and certified medical devices that can collect a range of clinical data from patients with pathologies for which constant monitoring is required. We talk about this topic with Professor Daniela Lucini, head of the section for exercise medicine at Humanitas.


What a professional app can monitor


Among the many things a fitness tracker can do, one of the most useful feature is monitoring the quality of our sleep, provided you have a certified medical device and not an amateur device without certifications. Resting well puts our body and mind in a position to concentrate as well as possible, reduces our appetite and it can significantly influence the quality of our mood. Another activity that a medical device can track accurately is heart rate. After two or three weeks, it is usually possible to take stock of the heart’s activity. It should be noted that common heart rate monitors could only provide us with general feedback of our pulsations. A medical device, on the other hand, allows us to accurately associate the oscillation of pulsations with the activity carried out, helping us recognize stress situations that are potentially harmful to our bodies.

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A new model of assistance


Acquiring constant data on one’s physical parameters and one’s biorhythms opens the way to a new and innovative model of healthcare. Monitoring the patient with a long-term condition gives the specialist a considerable advantage in the diagnostic phase and allows a much more targeted therapy to be identified. At the same time, it is interesting to note the scenario that these devices could soon offer in the field of prevention. Knowing ourselves, our habits and our weaknesses, in fact, allows us to change our lifestyle, making it healthier and more aware and implementing a real prevention method able to protect us from the onset of numerous disabling pathologies that are nothing more than the sum of small daily acts that are harmful to our health in the long run.



The importance of being followed by a doctor


In medicine, do-it-yourself methods are always to be avoided. The mere fact of having a certified medical device should not give us the impression that we are able to carry out a self-diagnosis: the data collected must always be shown to a specialist, who is the only one who can really read, analyze and use the information for our benefit.


“There are many devices that can read biometric parameters – commented Professor Daniela Lucini, head of the section for exercise medicine at Humanitas: excluding non-professional ones, we are faced with tools that can have their own usefulness provided that we do not confuse the end with the medium. Let us remember that these are always ‘means’ that can help only if accompanied by a program of medical supervision.

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