HEALTH

Mediterranean diet may reduce risk of diabetes

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — Older patients at high risk for heart disease who follow a Mediterranean diet rich in extra-virgin olive oil do not need to restrict calories, increase exercise or lose weight to prevent diabetes, according to an article being published in Annals of Internal Medicine that was released Monday. 

Lifestyle interventions that induce weight loss have been shown to decrease incident diabetes to as low as 50%. Researchers sought to determine if following a Mediterranean diet could reduce incident diabetes without counting calories, increasing physical exercise or losing weight. More than 3,500 older adults without diabetes and at high risk for cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to a Mediterranean diet supplemented with either EVOO or mixed nuts or to a low-fat control diet.  

Participants in the Mediterranean diet groups primarily ate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. Their diets were rich in fats from EVOO or mixed nuts. Participants in the control group were instructed to reduce dietary fat intake from all sources. Dieticians provided periodic training sessions to help patients adhere to their diets and participants in all three groups were not required to restrict calorie intake or increase physical activity. 

After four years, participants following the Mediterranean diets had a substantial reduction in the risk for Type 2 diabetes compared to those in the control group. Researchers conclude that a Mediterranean diet may have public health implications for diabetes prevention because it is palatable and sustainable.

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Virgin Pulse launches wearable activity tracking device

BY Michael Johnsen

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Virgin Pulse on Tuesday introduced Virgin Pulse Max, an engagement and activity tracking device, as well as a new mobile app, Virgin Pulse Mobile. Max directly integrates into the Virgin Pulse software platform, enabling users to create personalized challenges based on individual program goals and track activity such as daily steps, calories burned, distance covered and active minutes of exercise. 

Combining features like Bluetooth, unique “bump challenges” and employer branding capabilities, Max makes it easy and fun to create a culture of wellness across any organization by engaging and encouraging employees with personalized messages that nudge them to meet their specific program goals. Virgin Pulse is currently the only corporate wellness provider to offer its own proprietary device, the company stated.

The company also introduced a new mobile app Tuesday, Virgin Pulse Mobile. Users can now view their game dashboard and status, accept challenges from colleagues and friends and track self-entered activities like swimming. The new app offers full integration with the new Max device via Bluetooth.

Max is a sleek, black and water resistant device that can be worn in various places including the hip, neck and wrist. Virgin Pulse provides a hub of consumer-focused strategies and innovative tools that combine to drive real change across every aspect of life — including physical, emotional, social and financial health to improve an employee’s total quality of life. Max is the latest addition to Virgin Pulse’s suite of products.

 

 

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A&D Medical launches Wellness Connected platform

BY Michael Johnsen

LAS VEGAS — A&D Medical on Tuesday announced the release of its next generation Wellness Connected, a secure, flexible platform to help people increase physical activity and manage their health.

“Designed to address the demands of corporate and consumer wellness markets, the Wellness Connected platform combines the company’s new Bluetooth Smart-enabled medical devices, A&D Connect mobile app and cloud service to give individuals and organizations the tools they need to track progress toward healthy living goals.

“Rising healthcare costs and an increase in the incidence of chronic disease are driving individuals and organizations to find and incorporate tools that support a healthier lifestyle,” stated Terry Duesterhoeft, president and CEO of A&D Medical. “The release of our new Wellness Connected platform is in direct response to those evolving needs of the marketplace.”

Wellness Connected Bluetooth Smart devices will initially consist of weight scales and blood pressure monitors. Rounding out the suite of Wellness Connected products, A&D Medical is partnering with Salutron to connect to the LifeTrak family of activity monitors. All devices connect to Bluetooth Smart enabled iOS and Android mobile devices, and the suite of products provide diagnostic readings like blood pressure, weight, BMI, steps taken and calories burned. That data is then transmitted through the user’s smart mobile devices to A&D Medical’s secure cloud, and from there, can be pushed to Microsoft Health Vault, emailed to doctors or outputted to Microsoft Excel.

The new Wellness Connected app – A&D Connect – was designed to enhance the end-user experience with engaging and easy-to-use features such as graphing, trending, unlimited memory, reminders and goal setting, the company stated. Available free of charge through Apple’s app store and Google Play, there is also a social media aspect, letting users share what they choose through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

The flexibility of the A&D Wellness Connected framework allows wellness and healthcare partners to customize an end-to-end solution with the A&D Medical app SDK and cloud API. The cloud API provides a programming interface making it easy to connect to web portal, third party cloud (cloud-to-cloud) or other back-end monitoring solution.

“This new product offering leverages our extensive experience in delivering connected products to the telehealth industry,” Duesterhoeft said. “Wellness Connected will allow us to continue meeting the needs of not only the broader healthcare industry, but those of individuals who are seeking better ways to track and manage their health-related goals as well.”

 

 

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