I have been using smartwatches for many years now, ever since I made my sister in the US gift me a Pebble. For me, the smartwatch is not vanity, it’s a necessity. I have been a diabetic for well over a decade having been diagnosed with the condition before I turned 30.
So the Pebble initially helped me keep track of the steps I have taken and how much calories got burnt as a result. It could also show messages and help me control music. That was as smart as it got.
That when the Apple Watch came along. The first version was not much different from the pebble except for the superb screen and strap options. But still, it became more popular than any smartwatch. Now, almost five years on, the Apple Watch is the most popular timepiece in the world.
But that has not been achieved by tracking steps or sending notifications. It has been achieved because, at the end of the day, it is a watch you can depend on. Even when its battery life is almost exhausted, the watch shows time. And this, I think, is why the Apple Watch could become so popular. It did not replace smartwatches. It replaced watches themselves.
For users like me, the Apple Watch is much more. Let me tell you why.
I have had high fasting blood sugar levels for a while. Over the past year, on an insulin regimen, my levels came down to almost normal range. However, fasting data was still high. But my doctor, one of the most tech-savvy medical professionals you can meet, was not that concerned. He had put me on continuous glucose monitoring for a fortnight and was happy with the results. He believes sugar levels start rising the moment your body realised you are awake. He suggested I use a sleep monitoring app along with the Apple Watch.
I downloaded Auto Sleep and wore the watch to bed for a while. That’s when I realised that while I wake up around 6 am, I’m actually up much earlier and just lying in half-sleep. The body is up an hour before and releasing glucose to take on the day ahead. When I started taking blood counts as soon as I came out of sleep, the numbers were well within range.
The kind of data AutoSleep gave me also made me realise how sleep deficient I was on a daily basis – a diabetic like me needs at least eight hours of sleep a day, I was barely managing six.
There are a couple of other apps that help me live a better, healthier life. I clock 10,000 steps most days and the Activity app keeps me on track to achieve this goal. I switched to Yoga for a while and gain the app was clocking the calorie burns. It all made more sense now, because I had invested in an insurance package that gives a cashback for the days I stay active. Finally, there was a real incentive to stay fit.
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While there are a lot of apps that I use regularly on the app, there is one that I use for shock and awe: the camera shutter that lets me be part of a group picture and shoot it as well.
Then there is the ECG option now which I use once in a while to check if everything is normal. Also, being a diabetic with hypertension it’s a bit reassuring to how that your watch can potentially alert you if it reads something unnatural in your heartbeats.
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