Stories of Transformation: Todd Smith

Stories of Transformation: Todd Smith

People all over the U.S. are digging for solutions to the countless problems in the healthcare system. Heads Up Health is part of the healthcare solution, providing technology that allows you to centralize all of your health, fitness and medical data in one place.

Recently we caught up with Todd Smith. Todd used Heads Up Health technology to discover a significant heart condition that he had been born with — and living with unknowingly all along. He told us about how he used the technology and healthcare analytics to identify this issue and take appropriate action to treat it.

Todd Smith

Todd Smith

Heads Up Health: So, you’re in great shape, you love taking long cycling trips and pushing your body. What happened that made you realize, “Hey, something’s not right”?

Todd: In early 2014, I went to a spin class; I was training for a ride down to Sarasota, FL. After the class, I had really bad headaches for weeks afterwards. [My doctors] did a CT scan and didn’t find anything.

So, I road down to Sarasota and on the last day of the bike ride — day five —  I had heart palpitations for 24 hours. I had an echocardiogram last year and again nothing was discovered, so I didn’t think it was anything serious and neither did my doctors.

When I went to get my physical [exam], my doctor noted high blood pressure and cholesterol as potential issues and recommended a medication for hypertension. But, instead of jumping on a hypertension medication, I decided to start taking matters into my own hands.

I decided to hold off on the prescription and began collecting my own data at home including blood pressure, heart rate, sleep, activity and other lifestyle metrics. I also started tracking my own lab test results in Heads Up Health. My data led me to suspect the diagnosis from my doctor was incorrect. I sought out a second opinion from a different cardiologist and that’s when the correct issue, a genetic issue I was born with but had never been properly diagnosed.

Heads Up Health: Tell us about your experience with healthcare and your life leading up to the discovery of your heart disease.

Todd: As far as my own experience with healthcare, I’ve always been physically active. When I was in my 20s I ran marathons; I ran the New York City Marathon twice, plus the Los Angeles Marathon. After having some knee trouble, I dialed back from that and got into cycling. I even rode my bicycle coast to coast. I have a long bucket list I’d like to accomplish of other bicycle rides, too.

Heads Up Health: How did you feel after your diagnosis? What did you do?

Todd: I’ve continued to track my own health very closely using Heads Up Health’s solution. I’ve finally found the right specialist, which has ultimately led me to the right healthcare treatment. I was nervous about the outcome, but I’m confident that I have control over it. My hope is to jump right back onto the bucket list and cross things off.

Heads Up Heath: How do you use the Heads Up Health technology?

Todd: I have the Withings wireless blood pressure monitoring cuff to track my blood pressure and pulse rate. I use a FitBit to track my sleep and physical activity. Both of these devices are connected to my Heads Up Health account. I manually enter my BMI, weight, body water and muscle mass into my Heads Up account about once a week.

Blood pressure tracking with Heads Up Health

Blood pressure tracking with Heads Up Health

As someone that’s super busy, I’ve used Heads Up Health’s Concierge Service to help me get all of my clinical data (labs, medication history, conditions, etc.) into my profile. I can now track all of my medical data alongside all of my daily lifestyle data and share this with my doctor as needed.

Heads Up Heath: How did this whole experience between the Heads Up Health technology and interaction with healthcare providers make you feel confident about being in control of your health?

Todd: I think the analogy is, you’re becoming the driver of your own healthcare, as opposed to a passenger. Especially when you have a tool like [Heads Up Health]. I feel very confident about my situation. I don’t feel like I’m in the dark; I feel like I have control, and that’s pretty cool.

Other issues could crop up as I get older — I’m 45 — but hopefully I’ll be able to make decisions quickly, especially seeing trends over time. The more information you have, the more you have to make decisions to take care of yourself.

Heads Up Heath: OK last question. Based on your personal experience, what’s the one piece of advice you would offer others who are on a similar journey toward health transformation?

Todd: My one piece of advice is that people should take 100% control of their own health, instead of relying on hurried, overburdened healthcare providers.  At the end of the day, I know that no one has a more vested interest in my health than I do.  Far too many people place some sort of mystical trust in doctors, and the fact of the matter is they’re human, they make mistakes and overlook things, and they’re really taught to be reactive instead of preventative.

Learn More about Heads Up Health

Interested in another Heads Up Health Story of Transformation? Check out  beta user Bill Schuller’s story about how the technology helped him organize all his electronic health records.

Heads Up Health is currently in beta. Sign up to experience the beta version today. Or, if you’re just interested in staying up-to-date with the latest healthcare, fitness and wellness trends, follow us on Twitter or find us on Facebook.

Stories of Transformation: Bill Schueller

Stories of Transformation: Bill Schueller

At Heads Up Health, we’re looking to transform healthcare for our users; to make the disjointed health care continuum seem a little less daunting and a little more manageable by creating one place where someone can store their medical records, integrate all the data they are collecting at home and share their data with whomever they choose.

One of our beta users that’s helping us all get there is Bill. Bill is a busy professional and father of two. He’s originally from California and he currently calls Frisco, TX his home.

Bill uses our Concierge Service to help him manage all of his healthcare data within Heads Up Health. After a few weeks of using Heads Up Health, we sat down with Bill to pique his brain about the software and how it has transformed the way he views his health.

Heads Up: In your experience so far, what’s been the greatest benefit of using the Heads Up software?

Bill: The biggest benefit is the ability to see all my lab results in one place! Due to a genetic condition, I have to run blood work every three to six months. Over the years I had accumulated my lab results in over 13 different PDFs. Some of the files had over 100 individual tests.

Paper records and PDF files - what a mess!

Paper records and PDF files – what a mess!

The lab’s patient portal only maintains two years of history and their PDF reports only show the last two results. I had no easy way to see all the historical data in one place and compare it with other data I was collecting. Heads Up solved this problem for me and provides a friendly user interface where I can view trends and much more.

Heads Up: Tell us about your experience with Heads Up’s Concierge Service.

Bill: The Concierge Service has been incredibly helpful. I’m very busy with work and family and simply did not have the time to manually enter historical medical records data into my Heads Up profile. I just upload the file and Concierge takes care of the rest. This is a huge benefit for people who are busy and on-the-go and need help managing their health data. Now I just get my labs from Quest Diagnostics which automatically synchronizes with my Heads Up account so I don’t have to worry about data entry.

Heads Up: What other data are you tracking in Heads Up?

Bill: I use the Basis Peak* to track sleep, heart rate, and physical activity among other things. I use a Withings scale for tracking weight and body fat. I also use the iHealth Bluetooth glucometer and pulse oximeter, which automatically upload data into my Heads Up account.

Heads Up: Can you tell us about any specific experiments you’re doing within Heads Up?

Bill: I am currently using Heads Up to help me test different statin and non-statin interventions for cholesterol. I have been tracking physical activity (from my wearable device) to see if it can positively affect my lab results (lipid panels).

Long-term cholesterol tracking in Heads Up Health

Long-term cholesterol tracking in Heads Up Health

Heads Up: How else can we help you achieve your health goals?

Bill: It would be good to have notifications based on analytics that go beyond the usual “exercise more and weigh less.” With this technology it’ll be possible to have more “hey, have you noticed?” type notifications, such as comparing cholesterol results with exercise, and so much more.

Sounds good to us! Thank you Bill!

If you’re interested in seeing all your healthcare data in one spot, sign up for the beta version of Health Up Health. Or, if you’re just interested in staying up-to-date with the latest healthcare, fitness and wellness trends, follow us on Twitter or find us on Facebook.

*Although Basis Peak does not have a supported API, Heads Up allows users to upload some of this data in .csv format so it can be tracked their profile.

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