Using Technology to Improve Health and Fitness

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Aetna Foundation.

I am a huge fan of how technology can be used to make health and fitness easier. Whether its the motivation of a calorie or step-tracking application or an online forum to discuss health issues, technology has made it easier for people to monitor their health and find answers to health questions without always going to a doctor’s office.

I utilize a wide array of smartphone applications – tracking steps with an Omron Pedometer, tracking calories with My Fitness Pal, tracking miles with Map My Run, and tracking my CrossFit WODs with MyWOD. I also access online applications like HealthTap and WebMD for quick health information on simple illnesses and injuries that I feel confident don’t require a lengthy trip to the doctor. Should I use heat or ice on my low back pain? How long should it take a bruise to heal? Is my baby teething? Is all this granola making me fat?

When trying to find the best technology, people need to choose something that fits easily into their lives—whether it is starting to email with a physician or using a fitness app that tracks workouts, technology can be a great and convenient motivator. One in three cell phone owners have used their phone to access health information, and digital health technology offers a powerful way to reach people where they are with real-time health solutions that fit easily into their daily lives.

Aetna Foundation’s new Digital Health Initiative supports the use of digital health technology among vulnerable and minority populations and addresses public health concerns. The foundation recently announced more than $1.2 million in grants to support the use of digital health technology, including mobile health or mHealth. These grants will go to a diverse group of 23 organizations across 13 states, including health care organizations, regional hospitals and grassroots organizations all focused on easy-to-use ways to leverage existing technology to impact health. Efforts include a K-12 digital health curriculum that covers diet and nutrition, exercise and fitness and disease prevention and management. Students can collaborate on projects using social media capability and access the curriculum outside of school with their smartphones.

Here is a cool infographic that explains more:

Commitment to Digital Health infographic

What is your favorite health Web site or application? Did technology help you to lose weight, get fitter, or find important answers to your health questions?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Aetna Foundation.

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