Whether you’re ready or not, the age of digital health is upon us. In the not-so-distant future, you’ll keep track of blood glucose levels via a wireless patch, get hospital-quality EKG readings from your smartphone cover, and scan your vital signs with a Bluetooth-connected device in a matter of seconds. If you’re gift-hunting for the person in your life who’s obsessed with digital health and self-tracking, we’ve got some ideas that go beyond the obvious choices (FitBit, FuelBand, etc.).
This just-released activity and health tracker has plenty of competition, but self-trackers are excited about it because it’s loaded with sensors. While competitors like the FitBit often rely solely on accelerometers to measure activity, the Bluetooth-connected Basis comes with all sorts of sensors--an optical blood-flow sensor to keep track of your heart rate; a three-axis accelerometer; a perspiration monitor; and a skin temperature monitor. The wristwatch can see how activity is affecting your body, instead of just measuring activity alone. And every piece of data you could ever want is available in the device’s software (and soon in its upcoming app). Buy the $199 Basis here.
We love the Basis, but it’s not ideal for self-trackers looking for something a little more subtle. The waterproof Misfit Shine is a quarter-sized, lightweight device that keeps it simple, measuring steps, swimming strokes, and pedal movement on bikes. It doesn’t have perspiration monitors or optical blood flow sensors, but it is unobtrusive--and for some people, that might be a big advantage. The Shine is available on Indiegogo for $79, but you’ll want to hurry--the fundraising campaign ends the week of Christmas.
Yes, it’s a little weird to give a toothbrush as a gift. Allow us to explain. The Beam is a Bluetooth-connected toothbrush that tracks the date, time, and length of your tooth-brushing sessions--and alerts you when the brush needs to be replaced. Bonus: You can push all your data to your dentist, who may or may not care to see it. Pre-order the $50 toothbrush here.
One of the many problems with the health care industry today is a lack of focus on preventative care. Want to get continuous blood tests tracking your cholesterol levels before there’s something wrong? Good luck getting a doctor to agree to that. WellnessFX’s version of a solution: a service that allows anyone to get their biomarkers (everything from glucose to creatinine) tested as many times as they want, with all the data laid out on a sleek dashboard. Participants just go to a partner laboratory to get their blood drawn, wait three to five days for results, and choose a health practitioner from WellnessFX’s list of providers for a phone consult. Total cost for a comprehensive blood draw and evaluation: $199. WellnessFX’s Baseline service is currently available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. Check it out here.