The following article summarizes the original event which is listed below the summary.

Leveraging digital technology to support fitness, health, and well-being

Tue, May 16 2023, 11am

Our May 2023 Living Well Workshop featured Erica Schorr, PhD, RN, talking about the rapidly expanding constellation of digital devices to support fitness, health, and well-being. The most widely used devices are “wearables” for self-monitoring. Schorr, an associate professor in the U of M School of Nursing, reviewed the different types of devices in this category, including basic activity trackers, smartwatches, GPS devices, and physiological monitors.

Schorr pointed out that self-monitoring devices vary widely in price and features, and can be used to monitor many things, including physical activity, sedentary time, sleep, blood oxygen, blood sugar, and skin temperature. Wearable electrocardiogram monitors track heart activity and transmit the information to the wearer’s doctor. As a consumer, you should think carefully about what you want the devices to do and how much you will use them. As a user, you should put readings into context and not make too much of a single reading, she said.

Context is an important feature of another class of equipment: remote patient monitoring devices. These can give your medical team important information over time that can’t be captured in the office or short hospital stays. A good example is remote blood pressure monitoring, which is especially helpful for those who have “white coat syndrome” that causes their blood pressure to shoot up whenever they’re in a doctor’s office. Remote monitoring devices can also help in accidents. For example, there are bicycle helmets that, upon impact, will contact 911 and transmit location information.

CVD App Study

Current trends in wearable technology include miniaturization, improved aesthetics, and “apps” that manage different streams of information. Schorr, herself, is currently conducting research using Apple watches and an iPhone app to improve cardiovascular disease (CVD) self-management through education and lifestyle changes.

All adults with a diagnosis of CVD (e.g., heart attack, heart failure, etc.) are eligible to participate in the six-month study that aims to increase daily physical activity levels and improve medication adherence to reduce the risk of a future heart attack or stroke for individuals with CVD. To learn more about the CVD App Study, you can contact Schorr by email at [email protected].

—Ron Matross, UMRA president

Event recording
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Leveraging digital technology to support health and wellness

Tue, May 16 2023, 11am
Erica Schorr, PhD, RN
Associate Professor, School of Nursing
University of Minnesota

Event to be held via Zoom.

Digital technology has come to the field of health in a big way. There is now a plethora of wearable devices to monitor nearly every aspect of your body’s functioning, plus Bluetooth and other wireless technologies, including voice and text messaging, to support the achievement of optimal health and wellness.

UMRA’s May 16 workshop via Zoom will discuss how to select and use these digital health technologies to support your health and fitness goals. Attendees will learn about wearable and other health-monitoring devices (such as Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin smartwatches, plus blood pressure and blood sugar monitors) and how to choose the best ones for you.

We will also discuss the information that digital health devices can provide, the strengths and limitations, and the possibilities for the future of digital health technologies.

Erica Schorr, PhD, RN, an associate professor in the University of Minnesota School of Nursing (SON), will be our guest presenter. She has expertise in designing and testing exercise-based interventions that utilize mobile health technologies to assist individuals to adopt and sustain healthy behaviors, manage disease-related symptoms, reduce cardiovascular disease risk, and improve overall health and health-related quality of life.

Schorr serves as chair of the SON Research Committee and was named to an endowed professorship in the school in 2022. She is a fellow of the American Heart Association (AHA) and chair and first author of a 2021 AHA scientific statement on using mobile health technologies for secondary cardiovascular disease prevention in older adults. She is also co-author of an AHA scientific statement on physical activity as a critical component of first-line treatment for elevated blood pressure or cholesterol, and of an AHA science advisory on digital technologies in cardiac rehabilitation.

Please register for this free Zoom webinar and join us at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 16.

—Ron Matross, UMRA president

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