Gizmos help track your health

There is a way to get fit and stay healthy, even while sitting at a PC or thumbing through a smartphone app.

Health care experts and fitness coaches once bemoaned the static and sedentary lifestyle that desktop computers and cellphones seem to support.

But now, digital gadgets and online applications are being used to educate, motivate and document our level of fitness and our efforts to maintain or improve it.

Call it Health Care 2.0. One such online health care reference tool is from Telus, based in Vancouver, and its Health Solutions division, called myhealthreference.com

The new bilingual site includes access to web and mobile tools like a symptom checker, if you’re not feeling 100 per cent and don’t know why. There’s a self-assessment module, so you can identify and design your own fitness needs and diet regimen.

Content on the advertiser supported site is developed by MediResource (www.mediresource. com/), an international, privately held organization with offices in Montreal and Toronto, with advice from physicians, pharmacists, naturopaths and nutritionists, as well as a former chief medical officer who contributes to the site.

The site springs from Telus’ strategic decision as a telecom service provider to provide a range of electronic health care and medical record related services, including services for consumers and providers.

Montreal-based Tactio (www. tactio.com), meanwhile, is aiming straight at health conscious mobile consumers with its new wellness application for the iPhone and iPad.

TargetWeight PRO is designed to make tracking health and exercise information “fun and easy,” or at least more comfortable and private than repeat visits to the doctor’s office.

The tool can measure personal health parameters such as weight, body fat, waist size, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (obtained with off-the-shelf scales and blood pressure devices). (www.omronhealthcare.com/)

It also lets you track good wellness parameters (like fruit and vegetable consumption) while monitoring the bad parameters (smoking frequency, hypertension) along with cholesterol and glucose levels.

The apps tools and the layout are all about feeling good, and creating positive reinforcements for a more active, healthier lifestyle.

It seems to be working – Tactio claims more than 2,000,000 users, many of whom are sharing positive stories and results online at the company ‘Fan Page’ (www.tactiosoft.com/en/comments).

As much as an application can help, other people are known to be great motivators to feel better and stay healthier – whether you are sitting or standing.