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What my new gizmo is telling me

What my new gizmo is telling me What my new gizmo is telling me

Gizmo is a great word, especially in a world as obsessed with technology as ours is right now. The very sound of the word — with that “z” in the middle, followed by “mo” — perfectly captures the ambiguous nature of something that is both highly technical and almost cuddly.

My latest gizmo goes by the name of MorePro V-19. It’s essentially a FitBit knockoff that promises to track all of your vital signs — plus the number of steps you take — throughout the day. You simply strap it to your wrist like a watch and let the little sensors do their thing. It only has one button, which lets you scroll through eight different screens that include everything from heartbeats per minute to hours of sleep per night.

Of course, like everything these days, it must be paired with an app on your smartphone to unlock all of the capabilities. The app offers also sorts of impressive- looking graphs and charts, and it can even produce an EKG chart if you hold your finger on the button for long enough. Just don’t expect the battery to last forever.

For a borderline hypochondriac like me, having anytime access to my vital signs is a double-edged sword. It’s always nice to see that your heart rate is well within in the normal range and that you are slowly making your way to your goal of 6,000 steps per day (or whatever it is). At the same time, though, I suspect that the readings are not always 100 percent reliable. I noticed this when the bloodoxygen screen showed the percentage dropping well below the normal range of 95 to 100 percent. The numbers actually started blinking as they dipped into the 80 percentage range, but I felt fine, and within a matter of seconds, the number popped back up to 98 percent.

This made me think that perhaps this “fitness watch” technology still needs a few more years of advancement before it can take the place of a good old-fashioned doctor’s visit. When I read the reviews of the MorePro V-19 online, they ranged from those calling it a “lifesaver” for those with health conditions to a “disappointment” for those who expected it to answer all of their medical questions. One reviewer even said their doctor “laughed” at some of the results shown on their little wristband.

So, it appears I have to take this new gadget with a grain of salt (but only a grain, because any more could raise my blood pressure). One option I have not yet activated is the “sedentary reminder,” which is supposed alert me whenever I’ve been sitting on my duff for too long. For someone with a desk job who also likes to lounge around at home, this could be a truly life-changing alert — assuming I don’t just turn it off after a day or two. If it doesn’t work, I can always buy a “new and improved” gizmo.