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Smartwatches on Shift

Doctors and nurses who are involved in direct patient care are usually required to be ‘bare below the elbow.’ This means that they are not allowed to wear a wristwatch while on duty. For doctors and nurses who are interested in their own health and fitness and want to use a smartwatch, it is important to select one that has effective links with a smartphone. This way, the steps and other metrics collected during a working shift won’t be lost. They will be stored in a smartphone or in the cloud, and the data from a smartwatch will be combined to give a full picture.

The smartwatch that springs to mind is obviously the Apple Watch, which is designed to communicate and interact with other Apple products. Having your iPhone in your pocket during your shift will mean all those steps, calories, flights of stairs, etc., are tracked. When you put your Apple Watch on after a shift, this will continue where the iPhone left off.

If you are more of an Android fan, then you have more scope for watches. For example, the Samsung range of smartwatches can be used with Samsung phones or other Android phones. However, the connectivity and the integration of the apps may not be as slick as with Apple, where everything has been designed to hand off to another Apple device.

Sleep Tracking for Shift workers

The majority of doctors and nurses will work shifts at some point in their careers. Many will work 12-hour shifts or various shift patterns that include night working. It is known that working shifts can have a huge impact on a person’s ability to sleep and the quality of the sleep they get. It is important for these doctors and nurses to select a smartwatch that has accurate sleep tracking so they can understand their own sleeping habits. This can lead to improvements in sleep and overall wellbeing.

For the best sleep tracking capabilities, doctors and nurses could opt for the following watches:

Polar Vantage V2

This smartwatch is a favorite amongst swimmers, cyclists, and runners because it not only tracks their exercising routine but is very accurate in tracking their sleep as well. It comes with two sleep tracker tools that can be used to optimize sleep between shifts. The Recovery Pro tool is mainly used by people who want to use sleep data in planning their training. However, the Nightly Recharge tool uses a variety of data to understand how well your nervous system relaxed within the first hour that you sleep. This will then give the wearer personalized recommendations on regulating energy levels, sleep, and exercise. For shift workers, this can be useful in helping you to maintain energy levels throughout a busy shift.

Fitbit Sense

Fitbits have been offering sleep tracking for a long time now, and they have certainly honed the skills in delivering an accurate picture of your sleep. Heart rate monitoring is used to understand how long you spend in light, deep, and REM sleep, but the Fitbit Sense doesn’t stop there. Blood oxygen levels are monitored, which can identify signs of sleep apnoea, and skin temperature is also monitored so that any changes over time can be identified. A report can also be produced that can be shared with other health professionals if the wearer feels something is wrong.

Which Smartwatch to Choose

Doctors and nurses have slightly different requirements when it comes to choosing the perfect smartwatch for their lifestyle. For medical professionals, it isn’t just about what looks good or what has the best apps available. They need to choose a watch that suits their demanding lifestyle and allows them to have access to the features of their smartwatch even when they aren’t able to wear it. The Apple Watch is definitely the best for those who want unrestricted interaction between devices, but if more in-depth personal health tracking is more important and sleep tracking in particular, then the Polar Vantage or Fitbit Sense is best.

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Annabel Johnson

Part time gamer, reviewer and blogger. Full time geek and tech expert!

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