Only a few decades ago, most households had very limited ways of measuring their members’ health. There were thermometers to tell if someone had a fever. A bathroom scale could tell if you were losing or gaining weight. For quite a while, if you wanted to know about your blood sugar or your blood pressure, you had to go to the doctor’s office. Now, most people can measure those themselves. Home tests, tech and tools can help you monitor your health.
Home Tests, Tech and Tools to Improve Your Health:
Today, there are dozens of devices. People can monitor their physical activity with a device they wear on their wrist like a watch. In fact, a device very much like a watch can monitor your heartbeat and alert you if it becomes irregular. Some listeners have learned they had atrial fibrillation through such a device. That allowed them to contact the doctor so it could be addressed.
Individuals with diabetes no longer have to stick their fingers with a lancet and feed the spot of blood on a little strip of special paper through a reader. (Some still do that, and even that is far more convenient than having blood sugar measured only at the clinic. It’s also much more accurate that the urine tests that people with diabetes had to use back in the 20th century.) Now, blood sugar can be monitored continuously with a device about the size of a half-dollar. You attach it to your body for two weeks at a time, and any time you want to know your blood sugar, you wave your smart phone near it. As a result, you’ll be able to see how exercise affects your blood sugar. In addition, you can track which foods send it soaring and whether folding them into an entire meal makes any difference.
Blood Pressure Monitors at Home:
Of all the home tests, tech and tools you could use, blood pressure monitors might be among the most common. Many doctors encourage their patients to track their blood pressure at home. Others don’t, in the belief that this activity can make some individuals with hypertension anxious. (Of course, anxiety can make blood pressure rise as well, putting these folks into a vicious cycle.) Do you have a home blood pressure monitor? How often do you use it, and do you share the readings with your primary care provider?
On this live show, you are the star. Call in your story about your favorite home health tech to 919-962-3366 between 7 and 8 am EDT on August 19, 2023.
The People’s Pharmacy Pediatrician Shares His Home Tech and Tools:
We asked pediatrician and frequent guest on The People’s Pharmacy Dr. Alan Greene about the home tests, tech and tools he likes. Dr. Greene is enthusiastic about the Oura ring he has been wearing for seven years. It tracks his sleep and physical activity. Moreover, it also monitors “readiness,” as a way of assessing cardiovascular health. Its measure of oxygen saturation can alert a wearer to sleep apnea, and changes in heart rate variability are among the first signs of a viral infection such as COVID. The pandemic also introduced a lot of us to the value of an inexpensive home oximeter that fits on the finger to measure oxygen.
Home Tests That You May Like:
Dr. Greene also discussed the value of home tests. Here again, many people have begun using home tests for COVID-19 as a result of the pandemic. A home strep test is now available and quite helpful for parents. (Other people may also find it useful.) One of Dr. Greene’s favorite apps is called TrendWeight, because it gives you the long view instead of focusing on short-term fluctuations.
Please feel free to email your stories and questions ahead of time to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call us at 919-962-3366 between 7 and 8 am EDT on 8/19/23. What home tests have you found most helpful?
This Week’s Guest:
Alan Greene, MD, is a pediatrician in private practice, committed to giving extraordinary care to his patients. In 1995, he launched DrGreene.com, cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Website.” In 2022 he launched DrGreene.ai which provides answers to health questions for over half the world’s population in their native language. Dr. Greene is the founder of La Conexión and the founding president of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He is the author of Feeding Baby Green, Raising Baby Green, and From First Kicks to First Steps. He published his first children’s book, Flower Moon, in 2023.
Listen to the Podcast:
The podcast of this program will be available Monday, August 21, 2023, after broadcast on August 19. You can stream the show from this site and download the podcast for free.