Fitness tracking

As a Medical Doctor who loves to stay healthy, I have  been exercising fairly regularly, or so I thought! To objectively document my moves I did try out four different wearable devices that were supposed to help give me the data I needed, [mainly my heart rate and the number of steps I walked]. Imagine my surprise when all of them turned our to be almost useless!

Heart rate tracking has to be 24 X 7 for it to be of any real use to a medical professional or even anybody who is seriously interested in monitoring their health. And most of the devices that claim to track your heart beat do so only when asked to or when you press a button! That probably explains their cheap prices too. Anything cheaper than 3000 Indian rupees or around 40 US $ most likely will be a waste of your money if you are looking for serious round the clock fitness tracking at the time of writing this.

So I did some serious research on the best wearable device for me and honed in on the one you see in this picture below!

 

 

This is a device that fits the bill perfectly for me.

Here are the plus points after over a week of constant use:

It is super comfortable to wear, so that you hardly notice it is there on your wrist.

It is water proof and shower proof

The charge easily lasts a week.

The heart rate monitoring works 24X7 and is very accurate

The app is also easy to use and gives quite detailed analysis of your day and week.

It even tells me how many stairs I have climbed and descended.

It tells me the amount and quality of my sleep.

It reminds me to move with a vibratory alert  if it detects that I have been sitting at one place for too long.

You can set your personal goals and see how you have performed daily and weekly etc.

You can even link to other apps that monitor your dietary intake.

Here are some of my reports as it looks on my phone app:

Screenshot_20180722-233150Screenshot_20180723-223556

 

I am glad to see that my results are quite good for my age! Bit at the same time I used to think that I exercise enough and take enough steps but this device was like a reality check! I realised that on the days I miss my club I was really not exercising or walking enough!

Screenshot_20180723-223624This shows that for most of the days in the past week I barely reached my own goals for steps taken! Point taken!

Thank you Garmin for this device, the Vivo HR and I would highly recommend it for anyone out there who would like to keep track of their health and activities. By the way they have a HR + which has GPS too, but as I did not need GPS tracking for my exercise I selected the HR.

Wishing you the best of health!

 

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Block chain and Medicine

As a Medical Doctor I ask myself what are some potential uses of blockchains in healthcare?

Okay, so for those who must be wondering,

What is a blockchain?

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In general a blockchain is defined as a distributed system which records and stores transaction records.

Blockchain more specifically is defined as “…a shared, immutable record of peer-to-peer transactions built from linked transaction blocks and stored in a digital ledger.”

Blockchain is also similar to a database which stores information, however the main difference is that the data is located in a network of personal computers called nodes where there is no central entity such as a government or bank controlling the data.

How can blockchain be used in healthcare?

  • Drug Traceability where each transaction between drug manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacists and patients can be tracked to verify and secure drug product information important for tackling issues such as counterfeit drugs.
  • Improvement and authentication of health records and protocols on record sharing.
  • Smart contracts where certain rule-based methods are created for patient data access. Here, permissions can be granted to selected health organisations.
  • Clinical trials where altering or modifying data from clinical trials fraudulently can be eradicated.
  • Precision medicine where patients, researchers and providers can collaborate to develop individualised care.
  • Genomics research via access to genetic data secured on blockchain
  • Electronic health records (EHRs) 
  • Nationwide interoperability
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The future of Total Person Care

As a medical Doctor who is also interested in Total person care and treating each individual as equal and worthy of dignity and respect, blockchain technology gives me the technological possibility of actually implementing my values in practice.

I look forward to more developments in the field of Blockchain in healthcare. God bless.

How old is your hearing?

If you ever wondered how old your body really is, here is a great way to find out.

As you know the ear is a marvelous bio engineering marvel. As your age advances changes occur in the hearing parameters.

The rate at which our bodies age is a matter of intense interest to all, and we do many things to try to stay young!Figure3-copy

If you really want to know how your body has aged relative to your actual age, here is a simple way to test for sure how old your ears are, which will roughly indicate how old your physical body is. Do test and share!

High-Tech_Hearing_Aids_hero

 

Click here to know how old your ears really are!

 

Mumbaiites continue to breathe poor quality air, except in Borivali

As a citizen of Mumbai and a medical doctor, I am very concerned about the quality of air we breathe. The Hindustan Times reported today that the city continued to have poor air for the second day in a row.The pollutant-measuring indicator air quality index (AQI) fell from 224 on Monday morning to 220 by the evening, both falling under the ‘poor’ category. There was no change in minimum temperatures from Sunday, which was 4.5 degrees Celsius below normal.

545012-pollution

The System for Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) predicted an AQI of 220 for Tuesday as well. An AQI between 101 and 200 falls under the ‘moderate’ category, while that between 201 and 300 is ‘poor’ and beyond 301 falls into the ‘very poor’ category.

The Santacruz weather station, representative of Mumbai, recorded the night temperature at 16.4 degrees Celsius, similar to Monday and November 11, which has been the lowest November night temperature since 2012. The night temperature at Colaba, representative of south Mumbai was recorded at 22 degrees Celsius, a degree Celsius below normal.

Officials from the weather bureau said the current wind pattern over the city has led to cool temperatures and a decline in air quality. “From late Saturday night onwards, cool winds from the north-western parts of the country has led to a cooling effect,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director general, western region, India Meteorological Department. “As a result, due to the process of inversion, cool temperatures have allowed pollutant particles to settle close to the surface. We expect these conditions to continue till Wednesday.”

Meanwhile, day temperatures were more than 2 degrees Celsius above normal as Colaba and Santacruz, both recorded 35.6 degrees Celsius as the maximum temperature. “During the day, the winds are not strong and this has allowed temperatures to rise. However, cool winds during the night are leading to a fall in temperatures,” said Shubhangi Bhute, director, Regional Meteorological Centre, IMD. “The gap between day and night temperatures can lead to health issues such as cough, cold and fever,” Bhute added.

On Monday, Malad was the most polluted location with an AQI of 307 (very poor), followed by Navi Mumbai at 303 (very poor). While majority of the locations in Mumbai recorded ‘poor’ air quality, Borivli had the cleanest air with an AQI of 132 (moderate).072813_1339_4.png

As part of a citizens Forum called the New Link Road Residents Forum, http://www.newlinkroad.wordpress.com we have been pro active to ensure that Borivali and its near by areas are free from man made sources of pollution. We wish that more readers would be encouraged to take steps to combat this menace.

Secularism and the illusion of neutrality

Do you know who you are and where you are going? The person with a postmodern mindset does not really know where they are and who they are, says Ravi Zacharias, one of this century’s noted thinkers and writers.

Everyone it seems is asking ‘what does it mean to be human…?’

Our twentieth century, far from being notable for scientific skepticism, is one of the most credulous eras in all history. It is not that people believe in nothing – which would be bad enough – but that they believe in anything – which is really terrible, said Malcolm Muggeridge.

 

Our culture no longer has a point of reference.

This denial of absolutes has had profound effects on all spheres of human life. The profound decline in trust between individuals, and corporations is a glaring example.

People who have always believed in absolute moral values and in a Creator God who loves them and has their best interests in mind have been seduced and brainwashed into believing anything but the truth, and the devastation is only beginning to unfurl as the years go by.

 

Marx and Kierkegaard were two key voices of the twentieth century. The curious thing is that though Marx purported to have an infallible scientific key to history, almost all his prophecies have failed to happen. On the other hand, Kierkegaard’s forecasts have been fulfilled to a remarkable degree. Take for instance his profound sense that if men lost the isolation, the separateness, which awareness of the presence of God alone can give, they would soon find themselves irretrievably part of a collectivity with only mass communications to shape their hopes, formulate their values and arrange their thinking . . .

What has secularism to do with this, you may well ask.

 

 

 

Figure 1 What do you really mean by Secularism?

 

First of all let us see what people believe in the present day and age.

Do you recognize yourself and your friend’s beliefs reflected in this poem, called the Modern Thinker’s Creed, by Steve Turner?


We believe in Marx, Freud, and Darwin We believe everything is OK as long as you don’t hurt anyone to the best of your definition of hurt, and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage. We believe in the therapy of sin. We believe that adultery is fun. We believe that sodomy’s OK. We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything’s getting better despite evidence to the contrary. The evidence must be investigated And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there’s something in horoscopes UFO’s and bent spoons. Jesus was a good man just like Buddha, Muhammed, and ourselves. He was a good moral teacher though we think His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-at least the one that we read was. They all believe in love and goodness. They only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing. Because when you ask the dead what happens they say nothing. If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its compulsory heaven for all excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn

We believe in Masters and Johnson. What’s selected is average. What’s average is normal. What’s normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament. We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed. Americans should beat their guns into tractors. And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good. It’s only his behavior that lets him down. This is the fault of society. Society is the fault of conditions. Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him. Reality will adapt accordingly. The universe will readjust. History will alter. We believe that there is no absolute truth excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds, and the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be the Father of all flesh, disaster is his rainbow in the sky and when you hear

State of Emergency! Sniper Kills Ten! Troops on Rampage! Whites go Looting! Bomb Blasts School! It is but the sound of man worshiping his maker.

 

I heard this today from Ravi Zacharias, and thought I would share it here. It parodies the polemic often heard today by residents of America’s [and other so called ‘developed’ worlds] Institutes of Higher Education, who have been raised in the last few decades under the State sanctioned beliefs of Secularism, and if they believe in God at all, it is one that effectively has one man blowing himself and others up to gain a sexual Paradise, while another is meditation on his navel to attain his version of such, through the annihilation of desire.

What were the steps in this slow decline of our morals, trust and security?

  1. Rejection of the beneficial transcendent moral authority of the Bible, which provides liberty with its necessary limits, with the immutable holy Creator as God.
  2. Increasing acceptance of the objectively baseless morality of secularism, which promotes everyone doing what it right in his own eyes (contra. Deut. 12:8), resulting in the most morally confused generation America and other so called developed nations has ever raised, open to the ever morphing degrees of immorality, with gaining carnal pleasures, possessions and prestige being exalted, and leaders who “by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:18).

This paradigmatic change may be seen to have manifestly begun with the 60’s sexual revolution, which the Left sees as a success, while we reap the fruits of its corruption. In no small part is the role played by new age philosophies [old wine in new bottles, exported from their lands of origin where they have failed miserably for centuries] which are contradictory at their very core.

I feel that Secularism has played a large role in the present mess we all find ourselves in.

Malcom wrote this poignant summary “So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.”

But Jesus does save sinners.

I do not know much about the author, British journalist Steve Turner, but he has some other Christian poems, such as this excerpt,

If Jesus was thirty today they wouldn’t really care about the public ministry, they’d be too busy investigating His finances and trying to prove He had Church or Mafia connections. The miracles would be explained by an eminent and controversial magician, His claims to be God’s Son recognised as excellent examples of Spoken English and immediately incorporated into the O-Level syllabus, His sinless perfection considered by moral philosophers as, OK, but a bit repressive.

If Jesus was thirty-one today He’d be the fly in everyone’s ointment- the sort of controversial person who stands no chance of eminence. Communists would expel Him, capitalists would exploit Him or have Him smeared by people who know a thing or two about God. Doctors would accuse Him of quackery, soldiers would accuse Him of cowardice, and theologians would take Him aside and try to persuade Him of His non-existence.

If Jesus was thirty-two today we’d have to end it all. Heretic, fundamentalist, literalist, puritan, pacifist, non-conformist, we’d take Him away and quietly end the argument. But the argument would rumble in the ground at the end of three days and would break out and walk around as though death was some bug, saying ‘I am the resurrection and the life… No man cometh to the Father but by me’. While the magicians researched new explanations and the semanticists wondered exactly what He meant by ‘I’ and ‘No man’ there would be those who stand around amused, asking for something called proof.

Ask yourself whom you would rather believe, the Creator God who gave us His very own life to purchase our freedom from the guilt, shame and power of sin, or fancy stories designed for itching ears which ought to have known better.

If you need any further prodding consider this classic rebuttal of the modern secularist thinker by Malcolm Muggeridge:

The greatest artists, saints, philosophers and, until quite recent times, scientists, through the Christian centuries, . . . have all assumed that the New Testament promise of eternal life is valid, and that the great drama of the Incarnation which embodies it, is indeed the master-drama of our existence.

To suppose that these distinguished believers were all credulous fools whose folly and credulity in holding such beliefs has now been finally exposed, would seem to me untenable; and anyway I’d rather be wrong with Dante and Shakespeare and Milton, with Augustine of Hippo and Francis of Assisi, with Dr Johnson, Blake and Dostoevsky than right with Voltaire, Rousseau, the Huxleys, Herbert Spencer, H.G. Wells and Bernard Shaw.

{Vintage Muggeridge, ed. Geoffrey Barlow, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985, 32-33}


Don’t waste time, Doctors say

Heart attack to hospital takes 5 hours in Mumbai

Doctors To Try & Cut Down Time Taken In City [Adapted from a front page article dated May 25 2014 : The Times of India (Mumbai)]

With three million cases every year, heart attack may be the commonest grave ailment in India. But Indians seem to be dimly aware of its calling card—be it the sudden pain in the chest, upper back or jaw—and often don’t react appropriately. A shocking 95% of heart attack patients take public transport to reach hospital. And, many of them reach after six hours—or over 380 minutes—of the first symptoms, found an all-India study.

Cardiologist Dr Prafulla Kerkar, who heads KEM Hospital’s cardiology department, said barely 10% of heart

attack patients in the city reach the hospital within the golden hour. The golden hour is the crucial period in which medical treatment can prevent permanent damage to the heart’s muscles.

“A study among 350 of our heart attack patients showed that 10% reached the hospital 12 hours after the attack. By this time, the advantages of restoring blood flow are lost,” said Dr Kerkar. The majority of the patients took a median time of five hours, which is twice as long as it takes in the West.

It is to reduce this time lag between the appearance of symptoms and hospitalization that a handful of cardiologists have come together to form a not-forprofit organization called STEMI India.

Three years ago, STEMI India brought together doctors, hospitals and ambulance providers in Coimbatore and Chennai to spread awareness about heart attacks and ensure that patients got treated within the golden hour. They have succeeded in reducing the average symptom-to-hospitalization time to less than three hours or 170 minutes so far.

Next weekend, the STEMI India group of which Dr Kerkar is a member will hold its first training programme in Mumbai at Powai. “Over 800 doctors from Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh will attend it,” said course director Dr Rajesh Rajani, cardiologist from Hinduja Hospital, Mahim.

“The message is that the longer you take to report to a hospital after a heart attack, the higher the chance that you are left a cardiac cripple who may well need repeated hospitalizations later on,” added Dr Rajani. It is now well established that patients who are given immediate medical treatment–say, a blood thinner or clot buster–may not suffer any long-term effects of a heart attack.
Many hospitals and nursing homes in Mumbai, though, still don’t give a clot-buster to a patient who comes in with suspected heart attack, say doctors. “They refer the patient to a bigger hospital without even providing streptokinase injection that can dissolve blood clots that caused the heart attack,” said Dr Kerkar. Ashok Hospital is one of the few Hospitals that give this vital clot busting drug, and Dr. S. P. Mathew encourages other Hospitals around to do the same.