What’s your numb3r?

Whats your number?  Click on this link to find out:  http://www.populationaction.org/Articles/Whats_Your_Number/Summary.php



No, that was not my health app. I’m just starting off this blog with that link to pique your interest and reinforce the concept that numbers are objective, insightful and can be great motivators. Just enter data the app requires, the app calculates and displays the results. The next step of action is up to you.

Driving Question:
“How can mobile applications be useful in primary care?”

My quick and easy answer to the driving question is improved patient engagement and improved access to care. What you need is in your hand, available with a swipe of the screen, the touch of a button.

Mobile devices are here to stay, mobile applications are there to be developed. Dr. Sandejas already introduced to us the prospect of developing our own app. Ideas have already been germinating in my mind for a website I have in the works, an app seems to be a good first step. Not really a good thing to broadcast one’s plans but this is what the blog requires so I call first dibs to this idea since that class is a year away and suggestions would be most welcome. My app falls more into the category of personal health rather than the community based primary health care scenario of the required reading material.

My inspiration for Numb3rs,  my health app is a scale with displays all sorts of numbers.


I’d like to develop this scale into an app for a handheld device which displays all the numbers this particular scale generates. At present, there are obvious limitations for the transition from scale to handheld device. The scale utilizes bioelectrical impedance analysis by measuring mild electrical charges our body gives off from one point to the next. Utilizing the touch screen of a mobile gadget instead of the hand grips of the scale presents a technological challenge.

However, we can already generate the data just by doing a few exercises, making a few measurements and answering a few questions. Without going into details, the app requires:

  • birthdate
  • gender
  • height
  • weight
  • cardiac rate
  • blood pressure
  • hip and waist measurement
  • results of outlined exercises

For greater accuracy, we could input measurements of wrist, forearm, bicep, neck and thigh. At the end, I would be able to give: Body Mass Index (BMI) following Asian standards, Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR), Body Fat Analysis and Body Age. Displayed results would be calculated results as well as the ideal which the user must strive for. With these, I would incorporate into the app the Cardiac Risk Assessment  which I discussed in a previous blog to evaluate the risk of cardiac events . The user now has objective numbers which evaluates his present health condition within the parameters assessed.

Undergo a lifestyle change which includes diet and exercise then crunch the numbers to evaluate your progress. It’s the 7-11 concept – a quick, easy, one-stop online calculator!



1. Kaplan WA. Can the ubiquitous power of mobile phones be used to improve health outcomes in developing countries? Globalization and Health 2006;2:9 Accessed thru: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1744-8603-2-9.pdf


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