Researching Gadgets Vs. Docs, Plus Five CES Fitness Toys

Researching Gadgets Vs. Docs, Plus Five CES Fitness Toys

Laura E. Hall
Jan 14, 2011

We've got health and wellness on the brain after reading posts about cool gadgets at CES, which appeared alongside this factoid in our newsreader: according to a recent study, adults in the US "spend more time researching the latest electronic gadget or a gift for a friend than they do selecting their primary care physician."

The study suggests this is because there's a wealth of information about electronics to be found online, but info on doctors is sparse at best. We know we've had trouble finding doctors after a move, and even your insurance provider will only give you a basic list of options.

How do you find a new primary care physician? Word of mouth comes into play, with referrals from friends and family. We found our last dentist via a coworker. The aforementioned insurance-provided list is useful in that it displays doctors based on geographic location. And we have supplemented our research by checking out reviews on Yelp (you'd be surprised by how many are on there).

But until information on doctors becomes more readily available online, we have to make do with what we can. And in the meantime, we'll keep researching our gadgets, especially ones that will help us get and stay fit.

The Boston Globe shared this list of CES-introduced "gadgets that really get you going":

  • Yurbuds Ironman Series earbuds ($39.99) - rubber earpieces that slip over your earbuds, locking them into your ear canal for use while jogging
  • BodyMediaFIT Armband ($193 plus $7 monthly fee) - a monitoring device worn on the arm to track body heat, walking and running speed and electrical conductivity of the skin/sweat, for a super-customized service that records calories burnt and makes recommendations based on your food choices.
  • Fisca Fitness Sensor Key ($79) - This sensor key plugs into your iPhone and with a free software app, receives information from devices like…
  • Soft Heart Rate Belt ($49.99) - this heart beat sensor, which you strap around your chest while working out. Other sensors are available for runners and cyclists.

And one that didn't make the cut for the Boston Globe list, Withing's Blood Pressure Monitor ($129), a blood pressure monitor that connects to your smartphone to record data, for sharing with doctors, personal trainers or "friends on social networks" (why?).

Any tips? If you've had to locate a new doctor recently, how did you do it? How much of your research was based online?

(Image: Flickr member heipei licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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