Best smart scales 2023: Track body composition from home

A smart scale is a digital device that can measure a person’s weight and body composition to give an insight into their health and fitness. The best smart scales use bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), a weak electric current, that sends a painless charge through the feet to estimate a range of body metrics, including body mass index (BMI), muscle mass, protein, body fat percentage and bone density.

After measuring weight, a smart scale uses WiFi or Bluetooth (sometimes both) to send the data to your phone, where the information is stored and updated every time you step on the scales. Depending on the brand, some smart scales also measure heart rate.

Sports scientist Jamal Ramsay (opens in new tab), co-founder of JRNY supplement shakes in England, said smart scales can be beneficial because they are a budget-friendly way of measuring body composition.

“Usually, to get a body composition report, you would need to book a private health assessment or go to a specific venue, which could be quite expensive,” he told Live Science. “But with smart scales, getting these measurements is a lot easier.”

Read on to discover our tried and tested pick of the best smart scales for your home.

Best smart scales we’ve tested

Renpho smart scale being tested by Live Science contributor Maddy Bidulph

(Image credit: Maddy Bidulph)

Best smart scale overall


Size: 11.8 inches x 11.8 inches

Connectivity: Bluetooth

Max users: Unlimited

Max weight: 180 kilograms/ 396 pounds

Battery/rechargable?: USB rechargeable with built-in lithium battery

Stats: 13 body composition stats, baby and pet mode

Reasons to buy


Accurate readings


Attractive design


Impressive app

Reasons to avoid

Glass can get smeary

Requires batteries

May need recalibrating if moved

The Renpho smart scale is one of the best smart scales we’ve tested. It’s affordable, well designed, easy to use and has an excellent app that gives real insight into the body metrics it measures.

We love how it syncs with all the main health apps (from Apple Health and Fitbit to MyFitnessPal) so it’s really simple to access your data in one place. You can measure 13 different body metrics and the app gives further insight into how these relate to the average person, in terms of being healthy or unhealthy.

Unlike most smart scales we’ve tested, the Renpho refreshingly comes with a rechargeable lithium battery and USB charger (included) rather than triple AAAs. It also has unlimited users and baby

Read More

Northwest doctors say: Keep blood pressure in check with healthy lifestyle, testing at home

Because it draws zero attention to itself, high blood pressure — the technical term is hypertension — seems to be the easiest to shrug off of all ongoing health conditions in American adults.

It’s symptomless. It’s sneaky. A trivial paper cut will cause you more pain and suffering than this important aspect of your health.

Nearly half of all American adults have high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association, and many don’t even know it.

But hypertension doesn’t stay symptomless forever, according to Dr. Noreen Nazir, a preventive cardiologist at Oregon Health & Science University.

“In the early stages, you can have elevated numbers but no sustained symptoms,” Nazir said. “The body is trying to compensate. It can do this for a time but you may be on your way to developing symptoms and developing negative outcomes later on.”

Avoid ‘Holiday Heart’

The holiday season is when we tend to eat and drink with abandon. Doctors have a name for seasonally troubled cardiovascular systems: “holiday heart.” If you’re trying to keep your blood pressure in check despite holiday treats and peer pressure, try these tips:

  • Before you hit that party, snack healthily and include protein. You’ll be less inclined to gorge.
  • At the party, start with a glass of water. Delay and reduce alcohol.
  • Keep exercising. In addition to keeping your blood pressure better regulated, it’ll reduce stress and keep your spirits bright.
  • Stick with your meds. If you tend to forget, get a weekly pill organizer.
  • Be careful with over-the-counter cold and flu meds, which can raise blood pressure. Read labels. 

According to the American Heart Association, chronic hypertension — that is, blood pressure that stays too high for too long — increases one’s risk of heart attack, stroke and a host of other health problems, from heart and kidney disease to vision loss and sexual dysfunction.

“Most people experience very little symptoms until it’s too late,” said Dr. Richard Segal, an internal medicine specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Salem, Ore.

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for adults in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stroke is No. 5.

“Worldwide, raised blood pressure is estimated to cause 7.5 million deaths, about 12.8 percent of the total of all deaths,” according to the World Health Organization.

That’s why it’s important to get screened, understand what your numbers mean

Read More

No place like home | Penn Today

Robin and Lauren Magaziner got the bad news at just about the same time. After a relative learned that her breast cancer was tied to having a BRCA1 gene mutation, the New Hope, Pennsylvania, mother/daughter pair also underwent genetic testing, and found that they, too, carried the harmful mutation.

Along with other elevated cancer risks, a BRCA1 mutation brings a 55 to 72% chance of developing breast cancer over an individual’s lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute. The Magaziners came to the same conclusion: Rather than having what Lauren calls a “ticking time bomb” in their bodies, they both underwent double mastectomy with DIEP flap breast reconstruction, which uses abdominal tissue in place of implants.

Lauren, an author of middle-grade fiction, went first, in March 2022 and mother Robin, a retired school teacher, six weeks later. Each accompanied the other to appointments prior to surgery, providing shoulders to lean on at every step of their shared journey. Afterwards, instead of repeatedly driving from their remote Bucks County home to their surgeon’s office in West Philadelphia, they both also received regular visits from Erin McCarthy, registered nurse case manager with Penn Medicine at Home. McCarthy did everything from adjusting medication to checking and eventually removing their surgical drains. One time, when Robin developed an open wound, McCarthy used telemedicine to contact her surgeon so they could, as a team, examine and address the problem.

“Erin reached one of my doctors right away, and I was able to get medicine quicker because of her,” says Robin. “She was able to get the care I needed before it got worse.”

Robin Magaziner, a retired schoolteacher, had a prophylactic double mastectomy and breast reconstruction six weeks after her daughter, Lauren. Nurse Erin McCarthy helped both of them review medications, checked on wounds, and removed their surgical drains.

Having care at home saved the Magaziners time and stress after major surgery. “I loved that I was able to do this right from the house, because otherwise we’d have to drive 40 minutes and then wait in a doctor’s office,” says Lauren.

“Longer in traffic!” Robin interjects.

Plus, “during recovery, I didn’t feel comfortable being in the car because the seat belt pulls on your chest and stomach,” Lauren says.

“The vibrations from the car can make it painful,” Robin adds.

Penn Medicine provided nearly 730,000 home care visits for patients like Lauren

Read More

Black Friday deals: Fitness, home health and home tech


Save on one of our favourite rowing machines

(Image credit: Harry Bullmore)

The Hydrow Wave offers a similar premium performance to the original Hydrow Rower but it comes in a smaller, more affordable package. It’s now cheaper than ever too, with the brand slashing the price by more than $100 on its website. 

When we tested the Wave back in September, we liked its lightweight design and the fact it’s $1,000 cheaper than the original Hydrow rower, making it more accessible to a wider range of people. In fact, we liked it so much, it features in our guide to the best rowing machines as the “most suitable for beginners”. If the Hydrow doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are plenty of other rowing machines on sale this Black Friday. But don’t delay as stocks won’t last forever.

This Theragun deal saves you $100 on a top massage gun

man using the theragun prime massage gun

(Image credit: Theragun)

Say goodbye to stubborn knots and achy muscles. Once armed with one of the best massage guns, like the Theragun Prime, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without these super sonic post-workout recovery devices. 

Right now you can save yourself an impressive $101 at Best Buy thanks to the incredible 30% Black Friday discount which has just dropped. This brilliant piece of tech is equipped with QuietForce technology for low sound and delivers up to 30lbs of force to help release tightness and warm up muscles. All this for $198.99? We’re sold.

Grab this great resistance band deal from Target

Benefits of resistance bands: image shows woman using resitance band

(Image credit: Getty)

Take your workouts to new heights with 35% off this handy resistance band set from Target (opens in new tab). For $25.99, you can add some extra resistance to your at-home gym sessions with five exercise bands that come with varying levels of resistance, a door anchor and two cushioned handles. This means you can adapt them for different exercises. 

Discover even more of the best resistance bands on sale now.

Save on the latest Fitbit Versa

Fitbit Versa 4 being tested by Live Science contributor Andrew Williams

(Image credit: Andrew Williams)

Save a bundle on one of the best fitness trackers this Black Friday. We like the Versa 4 for its multi-day battery life, nicely animated interface and distinctive design. The Fitbit Versa 4 launched in September 2022 alongside the Fitbit Sense 2 and two years after the Fitbit Versa 3. Our reviewer concluded the side button is the one

Read More

Health News: Advanced Practice Providers offer expert health care close to home – The Globe

WORTHINGTON — If advanced practice providers, or APPs, ever went away, you’d notice. They’re an irreplaceable part of health care. Their reach goes far and wide. They work with physicians to see, and treat, patients of all ages.

Some patients have questions about APPs, and what exactly they do.

We’ve got answers.

Who is an APP? Many providers fall under the umbrella term of an APP. They include Nurse practitioners, Certified nurse midwives, Certified registered clinical nurse specialists, Certified registered nurse anesthetists and Physician assistants.

APPs provide multiple services for patients including diagnosing and treating conditions and illnesses; diagnostic tests, including laboratory and medical imaging; prescribing medications and alternate treatments; informing patients on health conditions and prevention of illnesses; and communicating with physicians, nurses, social workers and pharmacists to ensure quality patient outcomes

What education do APPs have? Lisa Milbrandt is a PA-C at Sanford Health in Worthington, MN. She said PAs are APPs who have a master’s degree and are licensed to provide medical care with the supervision of a physician.

“We go through a full bachelor’s program in undergrad. Then, the school after that is onto a PA program. The one I went to at Bethel University in St. Paul is a full year of classroom learning.” After that comes clinicals.

“Forty, 60, 80-hour weeks of being strictly in the clinics. Every six weeks you go to a different location and different specialty. We have a little bit of knowledge in every field of medicine. We go from family practice to surgery, to cardiology or dermatology, (and) pediatrics,” she explained.

PAs have a different educational path than the rest of APPs. To become an NP, CNM, CRNA, or CNS, a provider must become a registered nurse first before continuing their education.

Nurse practitioners, for example, “have a bachelor’s degree in nursing; they’ve become nurses and have done a four-year college program for nursing. Then, they have gone on to the graduate level and received whatever specialization they work in,” explained Nicole Block, CNP, from Sanford Health in Worthington.

“There’s a couple different branches, like midwives, nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and they have very specific training for their area,” Block added.

Where are APPs needed most? APPs, in all forms, are critical. Especially in rural health care, “where there’s a shortage of physicians,” Milbrandt said.

“It is pretty special to find any providers that want to be in

Read More

From facility to home: How healthcare could shift by 2025

When patients enter a healthcare facility, their primary aims are to become well again and to go home. While increasing disease burden and rising healthcare costs in the United States have already contributed to a boost in Care at Home services, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a catalyst to truly reimagine their future.

Based on a survey of physicians who serve predominantly Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) and Medicare Advantage (MA) patients, we estimate that up to $265 billion worth of care services (representing up to 25 percent of the total cost of care) for Medicare FFS and MA beneficiaries could shift from traditional facilities to the home by 2025 without a reduction in quality or access.

That number represents a three- to fourfold increase in the cost of care being delivered at home today for this population, although how the shift will affect reimbursement rates is not yet clear. What’s more, Care at Home could create value for payers, healthcare facilities and physician groups, Care at Home providers, technology companies, and investors. It also could improve patients’ quality of care and experience.

That said, several factors could affect adoption of these services. We outline those factors below, along with actions that stakeholders can take to address them. We also discuss why Care at Home services are rising, how Care at Home could create value for stakeholders and lead to higher-quality care for patients, areas where care could shift from traditional facilities to the home, and strategies for successfully adopting Care at Home.

How the COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed Care at Home

A variety of pandemic-related factors have created an opportunity to rethink Care at Home. These include the following:

  • Growth in virtual care: In February 2021, the use of telehealth was 38 times higher than prepandemic levels. While the future of reimbursement parity for telehealth is not yet clear, payers and providers have an opportunity to respond to evolving consumer needs. About 40 percent of surveyed consumers said that they expect to continue using telehealth going forward. This represents an increase from 11 percent of consumers using telehealth prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • More patients with post-acute and long-term care needs may be evaluating their options: As baby boomers age and families contend with the ongoing impact
Read More