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The doctor is seeing you now

Philips says its Healthwatch helps at-risk people monitor and improve their lifestyles

New personal devices allow at-risk people to make better lifestyle decisions

The doctor is seeing you now

Forget sitting in a waiting room, leaving through year-old magazines, until the receptionist says, “The doctor will see you now.”

New personal devices, unveiled this week, mean the doctor can see you whenever he or she wants.

Philips Healthcare has announced the global availability of “clinically-validated” health monitors including a health watch, connected scale, blood pressure monitor and thermometer.

The health watch, worn on the wrist, continuously tracks calories burned, activity, sleep rate and heart rate. It, and the other devices, connect to an app designed for people who are at risk of developing chronic conditions. The aim: to help them make healthier lifestyle decisions.

Developed with in-house and external doctors and psychologists, the devices connect to the HealthSuite Health App, available for free on iOS and Android.

Just don’t call them a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, the company says.

“Our focus is on people who are already at risk. They’re overweight or pre-hypertensive, and they’ve just had a wake-up call,” said Eline de Graaf of Philips.

“These are people who have just got news from the doctor, or someone close to them has, and now they are searching for ways to intercept that moment and change their behaviour.”

Dr Mark Aloia, Philips global lead for health behaviour change, said its personal health programmes are built to motivate rather than overwhelm and nag the user.

“Small changes sustained over time are a good way to help us reach our health goals. Measuring and tracking helps us take the small steps needed to improve our lifestyle.”

The watch sells for $US249.99, the body analysis scale at $US99.99, the thermometer at $US59.99 and the two blood pressure monitors (upper arm and wrist) at $US99.99 and $US89.99 from the Philips website or Amazon.

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