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Health gadgets that make great holiday gifts, some that don't

Health and fitness device sales are expected to surge.
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Posted at 6:00 AM, Nov 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 12:03:10-05

There are so many new gadgets out there to help you monitor your health.

Some of them could make a great holiday gift for a family member.

That's because when it comes to being more health-conscious, it's always a good idea.

Most of us have all the TV's and Alexa devices we need after two years of pandemic spending. So many people are turning to high-tech items that could make our lives healthier.

Gadgets that make great gifts

Pharmacy manager Mona Wanstrauth of Mullaney's Pharmacy displayed new health gadgets that could be perfect to buy for mom and dad, or yourself. Many are updated versions of old classics.

"We carry the newest type of blood pressure cuffs," she said, "where you just push a button."

Or, she says, consider a high-tech blood oxygen reader, where "you just stick your finger in and push a button, and it gives you your oxygen level."

And for diabetics, you can now purchase glucose monitors that no longer require a skin prick.

"It's a patch you wear on your arm, and then it'll go to your phone and record your blood glucose during the day," she said. "It makes it much easier."

In addition, she says, there are gadgets to help with just about every aspect of your health that connect right to your smartphone.

But whether you are buying a health gadget for yourself or someone on your shopping list, experts with Consumer Reports say there are a few things to keep in mind before you grab the first item that you find.

If you're buying a blood pressure monitor, for example, Catherine Roberts of Consumer Reports says arm monitors are usually more accurate than monitors for your wrist.

But arm cuffs don't work for everyone.

"If it's not the right size, it can really affect the accuracy, so you want to make sure that's the right size," she cautioned.

Other gifts to consider, Consumer Reports says, include:

  • Electric toothbrushes.
  • Water flossers.

"Water flossing is a really good option," she said, "especially if you're somebody who's not motivated to floss."

To stay within budget, Consumer Reports says you should find many Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on health and other fitness gadgets, such as:

  • Fitness trackers.
  • Smartwatches.
  • Exercise equipment.
  • Headphones, which are a great addition for any workout.

One gadget that doesn't make the best gift

However, Roberts says one device to stay away from as a gift idea is an over-the-counter hearing aid, which just became available in October.

While they can be perfect to buy for mom or dad after Christmas, she says "these are not something to surprise somebody with because they take a lot of work to understand."

So be sure to research products for accuracy and fit, check for generous return policies, and support your local family pharmacy if you can.

That way you don't waste your money.

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