We love technology as much as you do – especially when it helps get your heart healthy! Dr Ramasami Nandakumar, Senior Interventional Cardiologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Novena & Gleneagles Hospital, gives us an insight into using gadgets to promote cardiovascular health. From the coolest gizmos to the hottest wearables, learn how these tech devices can help make your heart healthy and happy.
You’ve seen them everywhere and probably even own a few, but what is it about fitness trackers that can help keep your cardio health in check? Dr Nandakumar says “Simply wearing a fitness gadget makes you more aware of your overall lifestyle. This in turn means you will be more mindful of how your day pans out, the activity levels you keep and your overall health.”
There are a number of fitness trackers available in the market, but do you necessarily need to buy a top-of-the-line one? Like anything fitness related it boils down to your goals and utility. From heart rate monitoring, water proof functionality, app proficiency to design wear ability (wrist, dongle, pin or even a pendant!) – there’s definitely a tracker meant for your exact needs.
Blood Pressure Monitors
If you need to monitor your blood pressure levels for health reasons, the new age BP monitors are portable, discreet and fairly accurate! You can choose between traditional Sphygmomanometers, digital meters or the stylish and not so obvious wrist wearables.
While Omron is very popular there are a few other options like the AliveCor and Generation guard that should make it to your consideration list. Dr Nandakumar adds “If you love technology and are comfortable with using apps for health tracking, these new age devices can be a boon to have around. However, if you happen to be not as tech savvy, stick with the trusted traditional monitors that are easy to operate and fairly accurate too!”
You’ve seen us wax lyrical about the need for sleep and how important it is for your heart (Read more here). Sleep trackers are devices that help you achieve your sleep goals and keep track of exactly how much shut-eye you really need. The highly popular Beddit 3 slides under your sheets to assess your cardiac activity, movement, surrounding sounds and gives you the right information the next morning. There’s also the Nokia Sleep and Sleep Score Max that work equally well for sleep tracking enthusiasts. However, if you are looking to invest in both a fitness tracker and a sleep tracking device, Dr Nandakumar recommends getting a wearable tracker such as the Fitbit that does an excellent job of tracking heart rate to give you information about your sleep!
Looking for a magic cure that calms down your brain? Meditation devices may just be what you are looking for. Wearable meditation gear such as the Muse help gently guide your meditation routine through changing sounds allowing for deeper focus. Dr Nandakumar says, “Meditation has a variety of benefits including the ability to reduce stress and depression, thereby improving focus and your overall quality of life. If buying a meditation device seems like too much of an investment, try one of the popular meditation apps such as Headspace, Calm and The Mindfulness App first to see how technology can help you by leaps and bounds in your meditation practice.”
We bet you own a scale! Whether it is to weigh those untimely indulgences or to track progress when you’ve been trying to lose some kilos, a weighing scale is now an essential household commodity. The smart scale though is anything but a humble device! From measuring BMI to body fat, heart rate and tracking your progress via an app – these scales are perfect for overall health monitoring. Dr Nandakumar says “Smart scales are brilliant at tracking your progress and a perfect final addition to that growing tech gizmo collection. Whether you choose a Garmin, Fitbit or the affordable Mi scale; if it helps keep your weight in check, it will keep your heart in check!”
About Dr Ramasami Nandakumar
Dr Ramasami Nandakumar is a Senior Interventional Cardiologist with Cardiac Centre International that is part of the Singapore Medical Group with a network of more than 27 clinics. He consults at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital and Mount Alvernia Hospital, and is also a Visiting Senior Consultant at Ng Teng Fong Hospital and National University Hospital. You can reach Dr Kumar on +65 82616483 (WhatsApp) or via his online platform, Heart2Heart.