/ /

  • linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Digital ob/gyn: Gadgets for health tracking


    Withings Smart Body Analyzer

    The Withings Smart Body Analyzer is one of my favorite devices. It syncs beautifully with Apple Health and also has a native Apple Watch app. Before integrating this device into my personal weight management strategy, I used a classic bathroom scale and manually entered the data into Apple Health to track my weight. With the Withings Smart Body Analyzer, I simply step on the scale and the data are wirelessly pushed to Apple Health. It’s important to note that Withings has its own Health Mate app that is available on the iPhone, Android, and Web, and it syncs with almost any and every available health metric app.

    This low-profile wonder scale not only provides ultra-precise weight measurements, it also measures body fat and heart rate measurement and continuously tracks indoor air quality. This smart device even has a functionality that tells the user about his or her position on the scale, to help with precision of the weight measurement. This avoids the age-old trick of “rocking” to make the values fluctuate. The device is designed for the entire household; each person in the household can create an individual profile and the Smart Body Analyzer automatically recognizes which user is stepping on the scale.


    While calories consumed, weight, and other exercise metrics are great aids in prescribing exercise, sometimes patients require deeper metrics of their wellness, such as their heart health. I recently had the opportunity to try MOCAheart, and I was really impressed with this handheld matchbook-sized device. The MOCAheart instantly measures heart rate, blood oxygen, and blood flow to provide a snapshot of heart health. Instead of delivering a stream numbers, the data are displayed on an iPhone/Android app in the form of the MOCA Index, which is “a qualitative measurement of blood flow correlated to blood pressure.” After users calibrate the device with a blood pressure cuff for the first measurement, MOCAheart provides a live snapshot of the cardiovascular effects of changes in lifestyle, exercise, diet, etc.

    MOCAheart seems to resoundingly resonate with patients who are at risk and need a “wake-up call” to exercise. In addition, it is the only device that I have seen that specifically addresses concerns about cardiorespiratory fitness and the risk of associated comorbidities.

    Many health apps and devices measure inputs, outputs, and progress. However, none of the apps are able to replace drive, dedication, and the desire for self-improvement. I find that the technology described here makes my job of describing “how to get healthier” much easier, but its success is contingent upon a strong patient-physician relationship and realistic goals. Pregnancy is one of the greatest physical challenges that our patients will face. Apps and devices can help your patients help themselves, and maybe even help us all stay a little bit trimmer and fitter. 



    1. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 650: Physical activity and exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126(6):e135–142.

    2. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans. http://health.gov/paguidelines. Accessed December 14, 2015.

    3. Levine BA, Goldschlag D. Top 5 apps for OBGYNs and their patients in 2015. Contemporary OB/GYN. 2015:60(1):12–14.


    Brian A. Levine, MD, MS, FACOG
    Dr. Levine is Practice Director at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, New York, New York.


    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • No comments available


    Latest Tweets Follow