One of my favorite icebreakers lately has been “what is your favorite smart phone app”? I enjoy learning a little something from my colleagues, why these tools matter to them as well as how their use of the technology has evolved. I have lots of favorites, yet I feel the most benefit personally from MyFitnessPal™ and RunKeeper™ Apps.
To put it simply, these tools measure my Ins and Outs. MyFitnessPal is a calorie counter. And RunKeeper is a fitness tracker . These tools tell me if the work I’m putting in is yielding results. They help me understand that after that calorie bomb of a lunch, I may want to walk a few more steps, log into CoreCamper™ for a quick 20-minute workout or understand that perhaps a lighter dinner would be a better choice. I’ve even started to track my shoe miles so I can better anticipate when I need to replace other than just by feel and visual inspection.
Like most software tools, there is a lot more to it than I use. New features are added all the time as I’m reminded by the App Store®. Fortunately, I know it’s there and when I’m ready, I can continue my journey to making better health decisions.
Fetal Strip Analytics is another tool to help us make better decisions. It helps Labor and Delivery clinicians to assess the wellbeing of their patients. Our clinical developers at GE have often referred to it as “the second set of eyes”. Fetal strip interpretation has always been a science and an art. There are even Facebook® groups where clinicians share a strip asking for input and the crowd-sourcing response is incredibly varied. Tools like this can help remove some of that subjectivity.
For nurses, analytic tools can help when evaluating a concerning or difficult-to-interpret strip, it can help the newer nurse with less experience gain confidence in her skills, it can help on night shift or in remote sites when access to the experts is not as quick or easy, and it can even help when multiple clinicians are involved and have different interpretations.
It is well established that calorie tracking is effective for managing weight, however, there is more to it. For example, it is also important to factor in your activity. The same premise is true for fetal strip interpretation. While analytics can provide helpful information, you still need the bigger picture. Other clinical information such as patient history, physical assessment and lab values help to provide that context.
Ultimately, there can be all these beautiful tools, smart phones, smart watches and monitors at your disposal . Whether it’s changing the care plan for your patient or deciding to get up at 5:30 am for a run, that decision is on us.
MyFitnessPal is a trademark by Under Armour, Inc. RunKeeper is a trademark of FitnessKeeper, Inc. CoreCamper is a trademark of CoreCamper. App Store is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.