December 9, 2015
My father died in 1996 at the age of 58 from a stroke.
I had a genomic analysis performed which quantified the family risk in more than the anecdotes of generations of VanderMey men dying from stroke or heart disease.
In 2006 I began a series of lifestyle changes and an engagement in healthy living that continues to today: exercise, diet and mindfulness about my health.
I had a stress test at a cardiologist, but I wondered about how a subtle symptom that only occasionally manifested itself in my father’s life would be seen in one or two tests. So I investigated technology I could use at home, capture during exercise and gather my own baseline, then if I began to feel anomalous rhythms I would have materials to share how the variance was manifested. Dr. Eric Topol told me about this technology when it was in the early approval stage.
So now, I regularly capture my own ECG using the AliveCor app and Mobile ECG iPhone case (FDA qualified device https://www.alivecor.com/why-use-it) I have had a couple of variances which I have sent in for evaluation in order to establish my personal baseline.
One of the great value of mobile health apps is moving from data to mindfulness and then changed behavior. This app along with some of the others I have used enable me to engage in the collection of data and understanding how my body reacts to my sleep patterns, my diet, and exercise routines.
This is not a guarantee that I will break away from my profoundly bad family history, but it gives me an empowering tool that helps me partner with my healthcare providers. It is a wonderful tool that extends the point of care to wherever I am, and by knowing what is my normal, helps me prepare for the time when and if my genes express themselves.
My Smartphone. My personal ECG device, and connection to better heart health…
Originally posted on LinkedIn.