The ultimate “selfie” technology may be a device that keeps your “self” strong, healthy, and safe from harm. 2017 brought to market dozens self-monitoring wearables, and more are sure to come. These smart tools are especially appealing to seniors who want to monitor their activity or sound a digital alarm they don’t want to wear around their necks. Here’s our picks for 2018:
The Pedometer Unplugged
Thankfully, sometimes what’s old is new again. The pedometer concept goes back to Leonardo da Vinci. What’s new is the OZO SC-CD pedometer. It’s a smart, simple-to-use, step counter that slips into your pocket. (It comes with a built-in clip and a lanyard if you want to wear it on your body.) The pedometer captures the day’s steps, distance you cover, calories-burned, and activity time on an easy-to-read display screen.
The pedometer automatically resets at midnight, and stores the day’s data for 30 days. Bluetooth technology not needed—we did say “simple!” Take two minutes to program it, and you’re good to go. The best part: It’s only $20.
A Crash Helmet that Calls for Help
If accident-detecting activators like OnStar work for cars, why not one for fast-moving, active humans? Now there is one: the ICEdot Crash Sensor makes your helmet a first responder if you’re knocked unconscious or are too injured to call for help. Clipped to your helmet, the cookie-sized device detects your motion, a change in your speed, and any impact.
If case of an accident, the ICEdot Crash Sensor alerts your predesignated contact through your Bluetooth-enabled smart phone. Your name, GPS data, health conditions, medications, and allergies are sent to your contact. The ICEdot is about $100, more if you buy it with a helmet. The first-year subscription for service is free; after that, it’s $10/year.
A Wearable Panic Button
Forget whistles, pepper-spray, and other gadgets you have in hand when walking alone in parking garages or taking the dog on evening strolls. The handsome Wiseware “Socialite” bracelet for women is an activity tracker with a bonus feature–a Bluetooth-enabled “panic button.” Tap it three times and your cell phone sends a text message and location to your designated emergency contact. Other features: It can be programed to vibrate when you want to be notified of a phone call and text or reminded of an appointment.
The Socialite is available online for $294-$345, depending on style and color (gold, silver, and rose gold).
Take Your Own ECG
The ability to do your own medical-grade electrocardiogram (ECG) seems like a hypochondriac’s dream, but for a person with a heart condition, the KardiaMobile app and Carry Pad could be a lifesaver. Place two fingers on each of its two electrode pads and in seconds, you have an ECG displayed on your smart phone. If your physician wants you to check in, simply email the ECG.
AliveCor also makes KardiaBand, a watch band that replaces the original one on an Apple watch. Put your thumb on The KardiaBand sensor and in 30 seconds, your ECG appears on the watch screen. (Early adapters take note: this is the first FDA-approved medical device for Apple.)
KardiaMobile with free Carry Pod is $99. A Carry Pod that attaches to the back of your cell phone is $15. The KardiaBand is $199. After 30 free days, Premium membership is $99/year.