Some useful medical advances initially seem intuitive and low-tech. The HydraCoach, an intelligent water bottle, was designed to help people drink enough water. Most people optimally need at least 72 ounces of water, and few people achieve this goal. Two types of people in particular may benefit from staying well-hydrated: athletes, in whom it may improve performance, and patients with kidney stones, because drinking enough water helps prevent the formation of future stones. The HydraCoach, by way of an integrated LED display, calculates your “hydration goal” and monitors how much fluid is consumed:
The HydraCoach hydration monitor functions by means of Generated Electronic Pulse technology. A magnetized impeller floating within a sealed cartridge is placed in-line with the path of fluid, and in close proximity to a sensor located within the head unit. When the flow of liquid comes in contact with the impeller, it begins to rotate, causing the equi-spaced magnetic elements embedded within to pass the sensor, generating a small electronic pulse. This pulse is transmitted to the microprocessor where a measurement of fluid volume is calculated. The volume of fluid is directly related to the rate at which the impeller spins and these pulses generated. The amount of fluid passing through the system is shown on the display. The interactive head unit features several buttons that allow the user to toggle between various informative function modes and to input customized settings.
Theoretically, by allowing people to monitor their fluid intake, the HydraCoach can also help people who may be fluid-restricted — patients with heart failure and patients with low blood sodium (hyponatremia), for example. A lower goal — say, 1 liter a day — could be set on the HydraCoach to help prevent these patients from drinking too much.
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NOTE: Please join us in welcoming Dr. Joshua Schwimmer to the editorial board of MEDGADGET. In addition to being a practicing nephrologist in NYC, Joshua also keeps going three wonderful sites: Kidney Notes, Tech Medicine Blog, and The Efficient MD.