TECH THE HALLS: JAWBONE UP & 23 AND ME – HEALTHY HOLIDAY GIFTS 2013
For the person in your life who is not interested in a $125, four-pound designer chocolate truffle reindeer, may I suggest a gift that morphs the latest in technology and wellness? Both the Jawbone and 23 & Me will ensure a healthy and happy new you… err, year.
For $130 plus shipping, the Jawbone Up is a computer on your wrist in the shape of a bracelet, providing a 360 degree view of your activity, sleep and nutrition patterns.
Over weeks and months, the Up’s personalized graphs become a valuable and omnipresent history of your 24 hour activity (or lack of it) revealing how many calories you take in and burn at work, at the beach and during a workout.
Do you always wake up tired? Over time, the band will show you specifically how much deep and light rest you get minute-by-minute, hour by hour every night. (Put a note on your pillow or over your light switch to remind you to set your band into sleep mode.)
The Up band will eventually identify overlooked patterns and its health experts will give you motherly lectures, errr… customized tips like “park farther away” and “eat more vegetables.”
There are a few of these types of activity bands on the market but the Up is most usable. You leave it on 24 / 7, only taking it off to quickly synch it with your iOS or Android device (apologies to the two Blackberry users left) or to recharge it every 10 days. Other bands that synch data via Bluetooth must be recharged every two days and since they are constantly running in the background annoyingly eat up major battery life on your smartphone or tablet. [more below…]
The second healthy and wise gift for 2013 is the first-ever direct-to-consumer genetic test from 23 and Me, named Time Magazine’s “Invention of the Year.” For $100 (20 percent off for more test kits ordered at the same time), anyone who believes knowledge is power and that knowing is better than not, can learn their risk for more than 250 diseases, including diabetes and breast cancer.
The genome test is a gift of comprehensive insight into one’s body. Just a few years ago testing like this with your doctor cost thousands of dollars.
After spitting into a tube and mailing it in, four weeks later you will receive an email with your results separated into four categories: potential health risks, drug responses, inherited conditions and physical traits.
Beyond the 126 serious tests for specific types of cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis you will learn other insightful information about your body.
What type of odds do you have for hair loss? Is your muscle structure better for sprinting or long distance? How does your body react to caffeine or vitamins and minerals? Those questions and more are all answered.
Combined with discussions with your doctor, the results could prove life-changing. We cannot alter our DNA but managing the risks could make an impact that ensures many more holidays to come.
Late last month, the FDA ruled it considers 23 & Me a medical device and that the testing service must work with the administration to further prove efficacy.
“This is new territory for the FDA, which we consider an important partner,” a spokeswoman told me last week. “Our lab adheres to the identical quality standards outlined by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments used in the majority of other health and disease tests.”
I have the band and did the test and am thrilled with both – highly recommend.