I have been thinking about the usefulness of smart watches recently because I can see various patients wear them.
A few have reported really feeling more in charge of their activities. They mention that it encourages them to exercise more as well as documenting their efforts already made that day or even week. We all want to feel the benefits of the efforts we make and it is a really positive thing if we can show that we have slowly been making efforts towards getting fitter and feeling healthier.
It is marvellous if we can respond to a little vibration of the watch to remind us that it is good to be up and about, to move or even that we have already been sitting for an hour and a half at our desk without moving once.
I quite think that the elderly in our society can really benefit from these devices as well. These watches can monitor heart rate and count steps. A smart watch can record if something is not right, if there is an issue and it can help with treatment and management after. I am talking about cardiovascular issues, irregular heart beat and other minor issues. Apple has already a device in the new generation of watch that can measure the saturation of oxygen in the blood in a very non invasive way. It will not take long until the update will make it possible to use it at the tap on a screen. There are other safety functions that can save a life, ranging from notifying a relative or carer to emergency calls. Having the watch could encourage them also to be more active. It is never too late to increase exercise if it is still possible. No age is a true excuse for little exercise.
The other side of the coin is however if the smart watch makes you feel bad because you haven’t managed the 10.000 steps today, if it reminds you to get moving even though you have just done a 10k run. I then think that it is better to invest the money, otherwise spent on a smart watch, in a sports club, where fellow members can encourage you to come and do exercise that you enjoy.
One other, obvious aspect is that your life can get even busier with all the smart functions a watch can have. If you get the messages that you already got on your phone with all the emails, texts and other messages, your life is not getting simpler.
All smart watches have amazing functions but it really is worth thinking about what you want to see when you look at your watch.