Watching heart disease from a distance

New technology makes it easier to keep tabs on your heart, and heart disease.

If you have a chronic condition, you know that the start-of-day ritual doesn't end with showering, dressing, and eating breakfast. Take heart failure, for example. You may need to check your weight, take your blood pressure, measure your heart rate, and remember to take a handful of pills. To someone unburdened by these tasks, this may not sound like a lot of work. But to someone who should do them daily, they can be a chore, not to mention a constant reminder of illness.

Now imagine this. As you step onto the bathmat after your morning shower, a scale woven into the fabric automatically sends your weight to a small box near your telephone. A ring on your finger checks your heart rate and oxygen level and sends this information to the box. Midmorning, a pill container you should have opened at breakfast begins to chime.

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