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iMedix: Social Network for Patients January 11, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Health, social networks.
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iMedix is unlike any other social network you will ever join. It isn’t just a social network for patients, but more accurately for anyone who is interested in health and medical information.

It’s primary reason for being, you will quickly discover, is to help people connect and communicate with others who understand what they are going through medically. I must admit that it is quite startling the first time you receive a friend request from someone who will bluntly reveal, “I am interested in brain cancer. I have a Glioblastoma multiforme tumor.” Talk about different from MySpace!

The other unique and unusual aspect of this social network is the member profile pages. Once again, you will see listings unlike any you’ve ever seen before. Here is an actual profile of a member:

The interests are all hyperlinked to pages that will share useful information regarding that interest as well as members who also share the same interest. Those members could either have that medical condition or simply doing research on that subject matter for a friend or family member. You can chat with them live if they are online of course or add them as a friend or simply send them a message about your shared interest. It is truly an eye-opening experience.

Now, before you close this webpage and run for the hills towards your bright and perky Facebook account to erase the depressing features of iMedix, I am pleading for you to hold your horses and continue to read this review. Granted, there are a lot of sad and heartbreaking elements to iMedix, but I love this service and what they are doing. I think it is a brilliant stroke of genius and an important community service for everyone. Sooner or later, everyone’s life will be impacted immensely by a medical condition, be it your own or someone you know in your life and God forbid, a friend or relative.
I will admit there is a personal reason why I feel so strongly about this website. My sister-in-law lost a three-year battle with ovarian cancer during the holidays and I know that I would have been on iMedix a lot had I know of its existence while she was still with us. Even if iMedix doesn’t always provide information that leads to a cure, it still provides a valuable service: communication and contact with other people who will understand what you are dealing with. That feature alone makes iMedix a truly worthy service to humanity.

iEat January 2, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Food, Health.
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It’s the start of a new year which means many of us will start our annual charade known as new year’s resolutions, AKA goals we like to say out loud but secretly know there’s no chance of actually following through on in reality. The most popular goal will be to lose weight and get rid of that extra stuffing we gained thanks to the holiday spread. Here are some of the best free websites that could possibly help with our goals for health and fitness with a strong focus on weightloss and exercise. Most of the new sites are taking advantage of benefits of social networking to allow members to collaborate and support one another in their goals. They offer useful tools to track what you eat, how much you exercise and more.

***Pai’s Pick***

www.traineo.com appears to have the best features and website look and feel. My favorite tool is the My Stats page which shows your progress (or lack of) in startling charts and graphs. Here are the key features they offer for free:

  • My Workout – easily track your daily workouts & calculate how many calories you’ve burned based on activity-type, duration and perceived effort.
  • My Diet – common sense tells us that to lose weight we must eat healthily, but who has the time to log every bite of food? So instead of laborious diet logging, we ask you to gauge how good you’ve been using our “Diet Rating” system. Your generated “Diet Score” will guide you and help you progress over time
  • My Stats – log your weight each day and get an instant update on how you’re progressing with ‘weight loss since last entry’, and ‘weight loss to date’.
  • About Me – create your own profile, add photos, personalize your “about me” message, and enter your goal weight and goal time (all easily modified)
  • My Messages – keep in contact with your motivators or traineo friends
  • Reports – see detailed graphs as well as summaries of your progress over time
  • Articles & Tips – get access to our latest training and diet articles
  • Member Community – find new weight loss buddies in the traineo member area and chat in the traineo forums

SparkPeople has been around the longest and has been on national TV highlighting their success stories from people who have lost weight with the help of their online friends within the website. Their website doesn’t look as purty as some of the new kids on the block but they offer a great deal of useful tools for free. Besides, you can’t argue with success. Here are their free features:

  • Meal plans
  • Calorie counter
  • Weight tracker
  • Recipe calculator
  • Fitness tracker
  • Exercise demos
  • SparkPoints system
  • Program to track any type of goal

FatSecret is similar to the other two sites and offers a ton of services for free including some new ones. Here’s what they got:

TheDailyPlate doesn’t offer nearly as many features but they are very strong when it comes to tracking what you eat and drink. Their visual water intake meter is clever.

Food Journal Food Journal
Keep track of what you eat
Calorie Calculator Calorie Calculator
Determine your daily goal
Fitness Log Fitness Log
Calculate and log the calories you burn each day

SkinnyR only offers one service but it does it really well. It will track your weightloss and display a chart like this:

Final Thoughts: Ultimately it will be up to each individual to choose which site works best for them. The best thing to do is try each one for a little bit and see which one feels right.
Some of you might not want or need all of the bells and whistles offered by some of these sites while others prefer to have a one-stop shop that can handle everything with one visit.
It’s nice to see that the world W I D E web can actually help us get slimmer!
Bon appetite!
Apple Pai