Health Trackers: How Technology Is Helping Us Monitor and Improve Our Health

Richard MacManus. Rowman & Littlefield, $36 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4422-5355-1
Tech blogger MacManus introduces readers to the “self-tracking revolution” in health and the technology driving it in this well-written overview. MacManus covers the ubiquitous Fitbit tracker, gives a nod to the Apple Watch, and describes MyFitnessPal, the online health and calorie tracker that debuted in 2004 and boasted 40 million users by 2013. He also introduces the Internet-connected Withings scale. Other services covered here include 23andme, a DNA-testing company, and Curious, an online community designed to crowdsource information about diseases. As he cautions, the information these services can uncover may not always be welcome. Further topics are the “brain dock” clinics in Japan, where people go to be scanned for brain diseases, and Neuroprofile, described by its developer as a “brain imaging and interpretation” service. As important as the products and services MacManus discusses are the dilemmas he presents: changes in the roles of doctors, unresolved privacy issues, and unanswered questions about who will bear the costs associated with these tools. What begins as a lighthearted and informative look at useful new devices quickly becomes a thought-provoking study of health care in a brave new world. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/21/2015
Release date: 07/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4422-5356-8
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