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January 2007


The More Bells and Whistles It Has, the Less Accurate It's Probably Going to Be
Pedometers seem to come with more and more extras. Do we really need them? One expert says no:

The latest models not only will count the number of steps you take but can check your pulse, show how far you've gone, tell how many calories you've burned and let you know when it's time to quit.

"We really encourage people to get the single-function step counter because most people don't want to fuss with all the extras," says Helen Thompson of America on the Move, the foundation promoting pedometer use.

"The more bells and whistles it has, the less accurate it's probably going to be. To measure calories burned or distance covered, you have to put in the length of your stride. But most people will enter a meaningful stride, which is a little longer than an everyday walk, and that throws off all the other measurements."

January 31st, 2007


Omron Measures Metabolism and Skeletal Muscle Mass Levels
Omron has announced its latest body fat monitor, the HBF-500. According to a company press release:

The HBF-500 is a consumer-friendly, easy-to-use scale which not only measures visceral fat, but resting metabolism and skeletal muscle mass levels--both helpful indicators for consumers to use when determining appropriate calorie intake and amount of exercise.

A person's resting metabolism, or amount of calories burned daily through normal activity, often decreases with age. However, building up skeletal muscle mass (muscles attached to bones and used to move the body) through exercise and other activity enables a person to maintain a higher resting metabolism and prevent weight gain.

The HBF-500 scale also takes more common measurements such as body fat percentage, weight and BMI to help users plan proactive steps toward better health.

More information is at the Omron website.
January 24th, 2007


Matsushita's New Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors
I4U News reports that Matsushita is to launch a new series of "wrist-watch" blood pressure monitors. Initially sales will be in Japan only, with a launch date of February 1st. Three models will be available, all under the "Diagnostic" brand, and the company is targeting total monthly sales of 18,500 units. According to a company press release (in Japanese only), a total of 1.45 million blood pressure monitors were sold in Japan in 2005, rising to an estimated 1.5 million in 2006 and a forecast 1.55 million in 2007.
January 17th, 2007


Conception - The Question of Timing
Newsday has followed up yesterday's Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor press release (below) with its own interesting pregnancy monitor report, including an interview with an independent expert who seems to agree that the Clearblue really does provide an excellent means of determining the best time for conception:

"It is very interesting," said Dr. Nancy Jasper, an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, who wasn't part of the study. "The latest ovulation monitor that measures a by-product of estrogen and leutinizing hormone opens the window for women to have more opportunities to get pregnant."

Most monitors just measure leutinizing hormone, or LH, which surges on the brink of ovulation and tells women ovulation will occur in the next 24 to 36 hours. The Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor lets women know when they are a few days away from ovulating, based on their urine, so they have more time to try and conceive. Jasper said the egg is usually viable for 48 hours. Sperm is still active for three to five days.

..."Many women don't have a perfectly timed cycle," Jasper said. "And for many women, timing is an issue in trying to conceive. That is why this type of monitoring is ideal."

January 12th, 2007


Get Pregnant Quicker
A press release from Inverness Medical Innovations says new research "proves" that the company's Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor "can significantly improve the odds of a quicker conception".

The results of this controlled study are being published in the February issue of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's publication "Fertility & Sterility"....

Findings revealed that approximately 23% of women who took part in the research using the Monitor became pregnant during the first two cycles of use, compared with 14% of the women who were not using the Monitor. This indicates that over a third more women conceived using the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor. Additionally, product feedback was overwhelmingly positive with 90% of participants agreeing that the Fertility Monitor was easy to use.

January 11th, 2007


In-Car Alcohol Detection Systems
Toyota is developing a system - based on steering wheel sweat sensors - that will detect if a driver has consumed excessive alcohol, and which will be able to shut down the vehicle. The company reportedly expects to start installing the system in cars by the end of 2009. Nissan is also working on in-car breathalyzers. More here.
January 4th, 2007




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