Staying Fit and Healthy With Mobile Phones

by : Andy Adams

These days with obesity and health problems dogging us all we are keeping our eyes out for potential ways to help keep us well. Some mobile phones are catering for this mindset with applications and new features that can help us achieve our goals. Some plans recently detailed show ways in which our mobile phones could potentially save lives too.

A recent patent filing arrived at the FCC in America proposing mobile phones that have portable defibrillators built in them. Two buttons on the phone would act as the paddles we see doctors on TV shows like ER and Casualty sticking to the chests of people under cardiac arrest. So what is the reasoning behind this patent filing? Well the patent describes how 400,000 Americans die every year from Sudden Cardiac Death, it then follows with the rather straight forward thought that if more of us were carrying portable defibrillators on our person then the mortality rate would be much reduced.

Whilst this may be another patent filing never to come to fruition there are plenty of ways a mobile phone can be used to exercise and help prevent heart problems that would need a defibrillator in the first place. Many people who go running or jogging like to do so to music and mobile phones are perfect for this with many of them moonlighting as MP3 players with the added safety of if you twist your ankle or injure yourself miles from home you can call for help!

A more recent addition to some mobile phones is Global Positioning Systems (GPS) which allow you to find your way home if you've been a bit overzealous going for a bike ride and got yourself lost. Some mobile phone positioning software caters specifically if you were on foot and not in a car, obviously aimed squarely at joggers and cyclists who need to track where they're going.

Ever since the Apple iPhone and SonyEricsson K850i motion sensing technology has become the next big thing with mobile phones, not only detecting whether the phone is being held at a certain angle but being able to detect movements such as steps taken. Nokia have released a program for their phones called a Sport's tracker, working in tandem with the GPS receiver it allows you to plan exercise routes, count steps like a pedometer would and report back how many of those extra calories you've burnt off.

They aren't the only ones too, Japanese mobile supremo NTT DoCoMo has worked with Mitsubishi on what they are calling the "wellness mobile phone" which can measure body fat ratio, pulse and bizarrely breath odour! Whilst it was only shown off at a trade fair last year the Japanese company expects to one day release the device commercially.

So there you have it, mobile phones have dominated so many other fields of electronics (digital cameras, email, GPS) they now seem poised to keep tabs on our health be it subtle methods like planning routes to restarting hearts, this is clearly a subject to keep a close eye on.