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  • Apple Watch subsidized for those on Devoted Health Medicare Plan

    As a (now retired) Home Health nurse I learned 4 things from my patients:
    1)   For most, the medical industry could not help them -- at best it could keep them alive but living a miserable existence.
    2)   Most of their troubles were caused by what I came to think of as "self inflicted wounds" from unhealthy lifestyles.
    3)   Most were so far down the slippery slope that they could never climb back up to health.  They had only one way to go.
    4)  I was starting down that same slippery slope.

    It triggered me, after over 5 decades of a very unhealthy lifestyle to learn what a healthy lifestyle is and how to do it.
    And, increasingly my Apple Watch is big part of that.  Not only does it record the frequency, duration and intensity of my workouts but my general activity level.  I also use it to record what I eat each day and it helps taking in the right amounts of the right stuff.   Plus, a couple weeks ago when I was out alone on a trail and tripped on a hidden rock it responded by asking if it should call 911 for me.

    As a nurse I was taught that most of what we call "Age Related Diseases" are not caused by aging -- they are diseases mostly brought on by unhealthy lifestyles.

    I am glad to see insurers starting to get on board and supporting the tools people need to help them stay healthy and functional as they age.  It not only helps their clients but, ultimately, it will reduce the $3.5 Trillion a year we spend on medical care.
  • Tip: How to get more from Control Center in iOS 13

    MplsP said:
    Disappointed that there's still no easy/good way to manage bluetooth connections in iOS 13 beyond just disconnecting everything. Considering apple considers wires to be obsolete, you'd think they would at least make it easy to disconnect or connect to a bluetooth device without having to go in to the system app.
    There is -- but in settings:  In settings go to Bluetooth then tap the "i" beside a connected Bluetooth device (except for the Apple Watch).   It gives two options for that device:   Disconnect or Forget.  
  • Class-action lawsuit claiming Google tracked UK iPhone users revived

    I have not trusted Google since they scooped up user's WiFi data and then lied about it -- Twice!   First they denied doing it, then they said it was the work of a "rogue programmer", then it turned out they still had it stored on their servers!

    Google is like the guy offering candy to the kid.   They lure you in then take your data.

    Typically they do no harm to those they spy on -- but it still feels creepy and "not right".
  • Review: The Apple Watch Series 5 leaves the competition in the dust

    I just upgraded from a 44mm Series 1 to a 44mm Series 4 -- because I could get a new one for $130 off from a third party vendor trying to clear stock.   Yeh, the always on display of the Series 5 is a very nice feature -- particularly in meetings where you need to sneak a peek to get the time and doing a dramatic wrist raise is not in good taste.   But, being retired, that feature is no big deal to me.

     But, this was a major upgrade from my Series 1 (which was running really well).  To be honest, I noticed an improvement in speed, but surprisingly nothing dramatic because the Series 1 was already pretty quick.

    But four things that are making a big difference for me:
    1)  The increased size of the icons make it a lot easier for my fat fingers to maneuver the home screen.
    2)  The increased font sizes make it a LOT easier to read while running (that's really nice).
    3)  Having a phone on my wrist means I no longer have to carry a phone around for safety in case I need to call for help.
    4)  The fall detection already kicked in:   While running on a trail yesterday I tripped over a rock buried under some leaves and went down hard (partly because I was already moving at 6-7mph).   And, it gently asked me if it should call for help -- which was doubly nice since I was out there alone and did not have my phone with me.

    So, this Series 4 with LTE is already pretty sweet.  And the Series 5 is obviously even better -- especially if your boss is lecturing you over something as it comes time for your bus to arrive.
  • Amazon's AirPods competitor may include fitness-tracking features

    According to CNBC, the wireless earbuds are under the codename "Puget," and will include an accelerometer. The additional sensor will enable it to perform fitness tracking functionality, including recording the distance run, calories burned, and the pace of running, a person "directly involved in the project" told the report.

    That barely qualifies as "fitness tracking".   It's more like the old, basic FitBit pedometers because it lacks critical information such as actual distance traveled, vertical climb and heart rate.   In fact, it is similar to the technique on the Apple Watch where it will estimate your forward progress prior to the GPS catching a signal (or an older AppleWatch without GPS running in standalone mode).  

    Essentially, it is the bare minimum -- if it even reaches that level.

    But, surprisingly, they won't do the one thing they could do very well that nothing else could do:   Measure internal body temperature -- basically a tympanic thermometer.  Why would that be useful?   I saw why when I was on the Medical Team of the Pittsburgh Marathon a few years back:   One of the main things we prepared for was overheating by the racers -- and we were not disapointed!   We ended up with a dozen racers with a body temperature over 110 degrees!   I personally transported one young mom and her baby to the hospital where her husband had been taken with a temperature of 112 degrees (the ambulance couldn't take her because they had no way to secure a baby's car seat).  All the way there, she did not know if she would ever see her husband alive or not.

    So yes, using EarBuds or AirPods to determine internal temperature could, quite literally,  be a life saver for endurance athletes.  And it's something that the AppleWatch is unlikely to ever be able to do.

    (Unfortunately, I doubt we will ever see this feature as Apple focuses on mainstream exercisers rather than the hardcore athletes who are more likely to need something like this)