In this episode, Ryan and Heather discuss devices and apps that help you monitor your health.
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Ryan Purvis 00:00
Hello, and welcome to the digital workspace works Podcast. I'm Ryan Purvis, your host supported by producer Heather Bicknell. In the series, you'll hear stories and opinions from experts in the field story from the frontlines. The problems they're facing, how they solve them. The areas they're focused on from technology people and processes to the approaches they took that'll help you to get to grips with the digital workspace inner workings. Yeah, it's been good. It's been good I, I did a recording with a friend of mine, John, who you'll you'll see his recording now in the pending folder. He's the guy who really convinced me over time to go the apple route. So it got a good discussion about a few things today. So it's been a good day. I'm still fighting a cold. So if I sound a bit gravelly, it's because of that. And then all good how things are, do
Heather Bicknell 01:01
I? Yeah, pretty good. Nothing, just just typical busyness but otherwise. Yeah, not too much. Nothing to complain about.
Ryan Purvis 01:16
It's good. Well, I always say don't complain, because no one cares.
Heather Bicknell 01:21
Yeah, I try. I try to limit that. Sausage. He gets stuck in it. And it's not fun. So
Ryan Purvis 01:29
what does it say? There's actually there's science that says if you if you complain, you become everything becomes a problem. Whereas if you if you try not, if you focus on the positives, everything becomes a positive. So yeah, complaining,
Heather Bicknell 01:44
yeah, that the mind is so powerful. I know, I have had, I've, like, you know, I've done some retail work in the past. And sometimes, I felt like people were getting really just caught up in some drama, or there's just someone happiness that was like, everybody, like, you know, where we're here to, you know, we're making cupcakes like, this is not, you know, we're not doing open heart surgery, like, we're not in a battle zone. Like, we can take it down a notch and remember, like it have some perspective here. Like, we don't need to be so stressed out about this.
Ryan Purvis 02:21
Yeah, it's funny. I remember looking for organization, and I mean, being in it. And, you know, it's a large bank. And, you know, obviously, there's lots of transactions going through and whatever. And I remember one of the, one of the senior people writing a message to the, to the sort of point of view that everything we do is life and death. And that was almost the day one says exactly that day, but that was almost the point where I said, you know, what, I don't want to work here anymore. Because, and, and I guess it's, everyone's got their, their thing. But I mean, works important gives you a purpose, you know, you should work to enjoy it. As much as it's not always going to be enjoyable. It's not, you know, it's how you approach it. And then I'll be guilty of this for years where, you know, I wasn't the happiest person at work, and I let the work decide that as opposed to me decide my approach to it. But unless you actually have got someone's life in your hands, it's not going to be life and death. So I mean, an airline pilot, Doctor, you know, those sorts of roles, those are kind of closer to life or death, fire, firefighters, policeman, etc. But but a corporate worker inside a corporate business unless it's something to do with the gate, again, cancer research, or whatever it is, I really argue is not life and death. It's important, probably, but you know, thanks. Thanks. Good. Now, this will come back up again. Lloyds Bank went down, it came back up. Again. No one, you know, in theory, no one died. I mean, you know, I don't know, to that level of detail. But, you know, it does set a precedence of setup people think of things.
Heather Bicknell 04:03
Yeah, it's almost like too big of a, it's too stressful of a kind of idea to be helpful. I mean, of course, you know, you want to know why the work, you're doing matters, but it needs to be within the realm of something that's reasonable and actually motivating, like, we work because we help people do X, right, like our mission is that we're making x better for our customers. And that should be in my opinion, kind of what compelled
Ryan Purvis 04:32
as I say, go because the converse is you don't want to have someone that, you know, doesn't take you know, there's a level of seriousness seriousness to your work. And you're right, it goes back to motivation and purpose and why you're doing it. It's one of the reasons why I joined Halo is the why. And you should do a good a good job while you're doing that, but, but if you don't, if the wires are clear, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what you say that motivation is not going to be So, yeah, I mean, I think your your points very true.
Heather Bicknell 05:07
So tell me about this glucose tool.
Ryan Purvis 05:12
Yeah. Yeah, so I've been looking at this for a while, and the levels thing. So this is a, if you do sort of follow guys like Ben Greenfield, or Dave Asprey, or any of those sorts of what they call them. self self quantifiers. Looking for the edge. Yeah. So this, this level thing is actually designed and built by an ex rocket scientist. And I say that tongue in cheek, I think he worked for NASA, and left NASA to pursue this. So this is a continuous glucose monitor. And the reason why I'm keen on it is I've got the aura ring, which gives me some information. But the thing that I really want to fix is my diet, and knowing what affects you negatively. And glucose is a good indicator, that is what I want to think. But I don't want to go and get a normal glucose monitor, I want something that someone has already done all the hard work to turn into a product, which is what this is, and and the thing is you I can't get it because I'm not in the US at the moment, they're only focusing on the US market. But what happens basically, you get the product, and you also pay a subscription. And they take your data, and then they they look at what your you're eating and how to fix your biochemistry. And then obviously tell you which foods to avoid. And what I'm trying to get out of this is I know there's certain foods that I shouldn't eat. And and if I do eat them, I get this sort of low or downward thing. But often that when I say that I know there's food I just don't which food is so I have a salad. It might be something in the salad, I shouldn't eat, but I don't know if it's the peppers if the lettuce is the tomatoes, carrots, onions. Is it the feta cheese? That's giving me the things it's a kind of a self quantifying thing. So I was gonna hope hopefully is your your address to to have the the device sent to you and then ship it to me.
Heather Bicknell 07:23
Yeah, I couldn't tell is it like? Okay, so I'm moving in July. So I wanted to talk to you because I couldn't tell is it a pre order or I do want it. Because
Ryan Purvis 07:36
that's the problem is it is it is a pre order. It's on your list. And if I remember correctly from the thing I was listening to, it's the order list pre order. And then that queue moves, they kind of add people to the to they move them through the list, like every month, but it's not a set number. Sometimes I'll put 10 people so they'll put 100 It depends, I guess on how much product they've built at that time. So, you know, I could do it today. And they could ship it next year. Or I could do today and they could ship it next week. So it's not urgent by any means. I just think popped up again. I was like, Oh, I'm just really do something about this.
Heather Bicknell 08:12
Well, if you think it's gonna be a while I am moving into, you know, the house we just bought so presumably I'll be there for a bit so probably that makes more sense. Yeah, that
Ryan Purvis 08:24
would that would make more sense. Yeah. That's cool, though, then then I'll we do settled. We'll do like I says no rush. You know, I just I just wanted to just sort of put that on my radar to get it going.
Heather Bicknell 08:37
Do you know what it looks like? I'm thinking like, you know, I friends growing up type one diabetic, they had like a little no square like, almost like a beeper kind of thing attached to them at all times that you know, had a needle going through, is it that much equipment?
Ryan Purvis 08:56
I think it's very similar. And that's, that's one of the things that I was trying to dig into before I sent you the link. They used to have a video on hard work, but the videos gone now so I don't know if they've changed the product. But yeah, in theory, it's something you strap on it's like a like a It's not as it's not it's not thick, like two centimeters thick. It's very thin and and it's and it's kind of malleable and then it goes around your waist and then the needles go into you they're not they're not all the way in there just just enough to get the blood and then you you wear that the whole day. You don't do it everyday either you weird when you when you need to wear so. But I'm on the on the mailing list now. So I'll see as it goes. And I'll let you know when I pull the trigger.
Heather Bicknell 09:46
That's extremely, extremely quantified.
Ryan Purvis 09:50
Well, if you think about it, we go in that route anyway. You know, I was talking with a guy yesterday. He's a he's involved with the NHS, and he was asking me sort of You know, what would you do with the NHS, I said, the biggest problem with the NHS is it's reactive. You know, it doesn't do they don't treat conditions proactively, they sort of tell you to go home, take two paracetamol or call me in the morning. Whereas in South Africa, we were very proactive. So like, my GP gets heavily involved, he won't let you go to sorted out, he'll refer you straight to a specialist that day, you know, you'd see someone within 24 hours, you know, there's a very big focus on getting it up getting the symptoms tackled, while they're still early, before they come serious, whereas the NHS is very much about keeping you out of the keeping you cheap. Because most things I suppose could be dealt with, with paracetamol and, and wrist, but they almost bite off by pushing you away and not doing the investigation they did, you could have a serious condition, which becomes even more serious, because now you haven't been treated proactively. And we're talking about self worth all this like, like behavioral things. And I think we've talked about vitality discovery, which is a medical aid, here in South Africa and in the UK, in the US, where they drive you with behavioral things to improve your health. So, you know, my Apple Watch is free, because I walk 12,500 steps a day. So I get points for that. If I go and see a dentist, if I get a flu vaccination, if I go to gym, if I do 30 minutes of hard exercise a day, I get points for all those things. And that drives me to be in a healthier person. In South Africa is a lot more mature than the UK. I don't know what the US is like. But here I if I go for a cholesterol check, a blood pressure check. Smoking, smokers check HIV test. There's one other one I just can't think of right now, I get points for all those things. And then once I get to platinum, a whole lot of stuff. Like there's all these reward partners like buying cross trainers or flying on certain airlines, I get huge discounts like 40 50% discount, 75% discount on active gear, so like Nike, Adidas, whatever, I'll get like 75% off, because my status is high. And all they're doing really is saying if you're a healthy person, you're not going to come into the hospital, so we don't have to pay for you. So it's cheaper to incentivize you with a partner than it is for you to come into the specialist. And it's, you know, it's things like movies as well. I mean, movies here are about 10, impound terms 10 to 15 pounds a ticket but if you with discovery, which is the vitality of the UK will pay like two pounds to go into movie. And our cinemas here will close I mean, there's I have I haven't found cinemas barring maybe one or two that are as good from a seats and screens and sound and amenities and, you know, all that kind of stuff, food and water. So it's it's good behaviors, which leads to healthy people, which leads to they're made more money. I mean, they they're always profitable. But as a member, we get good value out of it. So
Heather Bicknell 13:16
yeah, I know, I've heard of some of that in the US just from you know, within people's health insurance plans, but I don't know how calm I did is I don't personally I don't think I know anyone who has that I know like Microsoft and you know, other big tech companies will do like a health you know, you get whatever it is I don't know if it's $500 or you can they give you a stipend for this is for health so you can use this to pay for your gym or, you know, an Apple watch or some something health related. And that's something a lot of companies a lot but it's something that it's one of those amenities companies will tack on like a gym membership. So that comment on the UK as well.
Ryan Purvis 14:06
Yeah, so you know, gyms are common, but you'd get your usual things like pension. If you're a big corporate, you'll get medical this thing
Heather Bicknell 14:16
because in the US are a little bit. Well, Tim membership,
Ryan Purvis 14:20
I mean some of them do you see what I find interesting about the gym in the UK versus South Africa, for example, is the UK got a lot of small brands of gyms. So you have like a big one, which would be virgin active, for example, or Nuffield. But then you have a little a lot of small ones, like 24/7 Southern one that's near acid. Anyway, you got a whole bunch of them. So sometimes a gym membership doesn't make sense because you live like where I live in Horsham. There's no virgin active nearby. And my office there's no virgin active near there. So given me a gym, gym membership, division active actually doesn't help me because it actually creates more pressure for me to go to gym so you don't go. So you don't often get those unless, like, when I was a GP, they had a gym on the seventh floor that that you could do. And UBS was saying we had a gym in the new building, so you could sign up at the field, get a good deal, and then you go to any Nuffield, but But you really your home gym is inside the building. So Africa, Virgin is the biggest gym. Brand. Planet Fitness is the second biggest and I think benefit this is in America as well. Yeah. Now that's another one that if if I sign up through my medical aid, the price goes to almost nothing for me. I think I was paying 800 grand a month. So that's about call it 4040 pounds 50 $60 for both Kirsten and I, on Discovery, I pay about half of that. So raise this. Now if you took if you look at what I was paying for my virgin active minor field ID when I was at UBS and I was on a, I was on a corporate rate, I was paying about 100 pounds a month just for myself to go on that right. And the full price for my gym was I think 200 a month. That was a very fancy had all the facilities or the you know, all the cool stuff. But if I was paid for myself, there's no way that we've paid for it, I'd go to the local gym down the road, which is about 30 bucks a month, which is but but then they don't have things like saunas and steam rooms, and ice pools and all that kind of stuff, which is what I was actually keen on. Now with COVID, none of that stuff matters because no one can use that stuff. Because it's all you know, whatever. But what why was bringing all that up is that I think the so when I got sick last week, I had a stomach bug. And I went to the GP and I actually took I wrote down on my symptoms, but I also took screenshots of all my aura data to show him how my body temperature changed. And he was completely blown away that I had that I knew so much about that I was actually I said look, you can see here, I was feeling ill at three o'clock, and my body temperature had risen by half a degree. Now half a degree on its own means nothing, but that it carried on going up in sort of a, you know, not a not a 30 degree angle, probably about a 45 degree angle to midnight. And as a 37 and a bit that's that show tonight that I had an infection. And then when I took the screenshots and the screenshots again at the next day at four o'clock, but when I looked again at four o'clock my temperature come back down to normal. But you always saw oversaw the 24 hour bug, do that do the actual up and down piece as as I started feeling better. And the medication that took sort of working, the the impact was there. And I see that kind of stuff, not necessarily real time to to the medical fraternity. But when you go in with something, having some history of your What are your normals would be really important to decisions that they make about your health.
Heather Bicknell 18:14
Remember, if it was the aura ring, or if it was like a specially developed ring, that I remember, sort of towards the beginning of COVID. One of the things that some of the premier athletes are doing I think this came up in basketball, but they were giving them rings for like early COVID. They were trying to use that as like an early COVID detection
Ryan Purvis 18:34
was That was that was the other thing that changes your heart rate variability that goes up and down. So mine might also change like a second and it was there because you actually signed up for the research thing. So all my data is going into that as well. So so it's definitely, it's, it's the right thing to do the same as I do a thing with vitamin D, I've got an app on my phone called What's it called demander. And we're like go for a walk outside, it checks my just turned on that I'm walking outside. And I sort of say how much clothing I'm wearing, like how much cover I've got on and then what the cloud cover is, and then it calculates my UV exposure. And that also works out my our use of the vitamin D. And that also goes into a research thing. And I can honestly say since we've been back in South Africa, one of my mood has changed. My wife always says my mood changes when I'm here. And I said to the reader my mood changes because I'm getting so much more sunlight. Then when I do in the UK and I think that's you know, it's called said sensory, whatever it's called affective disorder, that's it. And so when we do ever get back, I will be buying those full of lights that generate vitamin D inside the house because I think Death that makes a big difference.
Heather Bicknell 20:03
Yeah, I mean, living in the north, I think it's I supplement, I just supplement with vitamin D. It's really hard to get enough from the sun. And then even in the summer, I'm always wearing sunscreen. So yeah, I mean, so it's an important vitamin, easy to get low on and not really be aware of it. But the and this is super interesting, because you always wonder, like, you know, you know, you can get it from the sun. But how do you really know how much you're getting? Well,
Ryan Purvis 20:34
and this is the interesting thing. So you can get from the sun, but you only get a certain part times of the day. Because if you think about like your northern hemisphere last year, in the summer months, I'm in I'm in winter. So the Earth's rotating, it's got a slight a slight tilted. So while it's spinning, and, and depending on where you are in your seasons, your angle of attack for the sun will change. So in summer here, we can, you can get enough UV from seven in the morning, till six in the evening. But in winter, that window is so small right now it's like 945 till two o'clock. So it's no point go for a walk in the sun before after that, because you're actually not getting any any vitamin D, your body's not generating anything, because that your your angle is about 30 degrees. So like if I go for my walk, like like, you know, today, for example, I've had back to back the whole, the whole mid middle of the day, actually move the meeting to later in the day and go for a walk in the sun. Because if I go off to our call, now it's too late, the sun's already out of the out of range, even though it's bright outside. The generations too low going to getting about one UV or two V's, which is too low.
Heather Bicknell 21:46
And is that something you see in the app, that gives you a timeline?
Ryan Purvis 21:51
Yeah, so So I'll tell you right now. So I've got three minutes left, we'll put this up to the camera so you can see. So you see that there's a you can see the sun on a doll on a half moon thing. And then below that a button below that it says you've got three minutes left of vitamin D. And the sun's the sun is right now at current angles, 30 degrees. So literally, it's going to move in three minutes, it'll be out of range. And we're going up to Solstice now, which is in 12 days, which means we're now on the other side of what will be the other side of that curve so that it's gonna kind of as it spins around, it's going to go to the right side for us going back towards summer. So that that that window will get bigger and bigger again. Yeah, it's fascinating. Actually, I've been talking with a friend of mine about getting a little sensor that measures because this is a pain in the ass. I don't like, you know, it frustrates me that Attica press a button in an app to go measure this stuff. So what I want to do is get a circuit with a sensor with a little battery pack and a little memory card. And probably, you know, as I build on this, it'll get more and more thing. But basically, I wanted to measure as I walked outside, I wanted to measure how much UV I'm getting. So at the end of the day, I can say, Okay, today I got, you know, 60 minutes worth, because you don't you don't count like driving from the house to the shops, then getting out of the car, walking across the parking lot into the shops, then walking back outside. Now that's only you know, three or four minutes. And that's kind of the goal. That's his bonus, really. But, you know, on a hot day, you might spend the whole day outside, you want that to be automatically measure, you don't want to sort of stop and start the app every time you come in and out. And you should be able to get the other thing is the calculating cloud cover. It's very subjective. It's got like a dial or you pull backwards and forwards. So if I go outside now it's like yeah, the clouds are there. It is thick, but these are really thick. These are kind of thin. You know, is it 80%? Is it 40% cover?
Heather Bicknell 24:11
image recognition component where it can analyze
Ryan Purvis 24:14
the sky? Yeah, well, this this is the problem. Hey, stop building a whole AI solution just to measure one that one thing you know, take a picture of the sky when you when you walk outside and it's it's constantly working out how much coverage you got.
Heather Bicknell 24:27
Found battery just tanks.
Ryan Purvis 24:30
Well, it's funny you say that's how I saw I played golf for my birthday. And I had it on the whole time. And my battery went from 100% At the start of the round 20% By the end of the round sets and four hours are basically basically killed it. So yeah, so you go that's another reason for getting a little sensor because a little sensor is probably the size of a quarter. And then you need to put a battery pack on it so you get another quarter battery pack. And you need to have the memory the memory card because that because I actually don't care, I don't need, I don't need the data real time, I don't need it every day. But I just want if the battery lasts 30 days, or however long loss at the end of that, I just want to plug in the memory card and get the data. The only reason you need the real time is to know that you haven't got enough. And that's what this this is quite good as well, because it's cumulative. So it'll have the reporting, search again. So you can see there, make sure I'm tilting the right way. So you can see what I've got today, what I've got for the last 30 days, the last whatever, 90 days, I still take a vitamin D supplement for days like today where it's a bit, it's a bit cloudy outside, and I haven't been outside as much. But the next thing, and this is one of the reasons I wanted the levels thing is that is something like that to measure your blood markers that your blood tells you vary quite a lot.
Heather Bicknell 26:01
Yeah, and it's um, yeah, I'm curious about that. Because it is, you know, it's not at least where I'm at. It's not inexpensive. If you wanted to get a blood panel, you know, really check things out. That's not generally you know, something, you can just casually go and do, you know, you'd be making sort of an investment to go get everything checked out.
Ryan Purvis 26:28
Well, it's funny, you say that, because when my daughter went into the hospital, were chatting to the doctor, he worked in the UK for a bit. And he actually sent me a paper that did a comparison of medical costs per procedure, and an invoice and versus quality. And so that's what comes up pretty high on that. Which we've we've seen, I mean, my, like my daughter cost to stay in the hospital for three days, I haven't got the final ball yet. But it was relatively inexpensive for the treatment that she got, versus what I've seen at the NHS, where I've seen the balls for what I got there, and I'm going holy moly, this is expensive. It just, it just doesn't make sense. So to go get a blood panel here would probably cost me $20. But even I'd have to pay for the doctors time to write the script to go get it done. So my pay $40. But it's still not prohibitive.
Heather Bicknell 27:24
For NHS, you're not directly footing that bill, right.
Ryan Purvis 27:27
That's all I'm saying it just comes out of the taxpayers pot. But but like I have private or I had private medical there. And the reason why you have private medical is to jump the queue. If you're waiting, the only the only ones to get priority really are kids. And I think if you're over certain age things over 80, you get priority on procedures. But typically, you're in the waiting queue. So if you've got private, then you you know, you're paying a huge amount per month. But then if I want to go and see like had my knee done, I saw the guy on the Wednesday had the surgery on the Friday. I had a friend of mine, he saw the guys for shoulder in 2018 and did his shoulder in 2021. And for three years, he's basically suffered with a problem with his shoulder. So so that's that's where, you know, it depends on your values. We're we're health is as much as I pay, you know, it's a it's a grudge purchase every month to pay because I paid myself for the medical. In the UK, at least, you know, it's we've benefited from it. In South Africa, you got the choice really, there is a government hospital system. But you'd have to take a chance you'd rather pay private. And that's why I say private profit is cost effective because everyone pretty much everyone is got a decent salary has got medical cover.
Heather Bicknell 28:52
But there is like a government system that covers everyone who can't afford Yeah,
Ryan Purvis 28:57
yeah. But you know, as my as my my helper says she She's scared of getting sick, because she doesn't want to go to the government hospital. And there was there was talk for a while have a national insurance for the health service, like the NHS. Unfortunately, the problem you have here is the corruption. The question is, you know, will they steal the money as the government which is a very political discussion, but but from a and what some families will do depending on the how wealthy they are, is they will actually put the domestic the domestic kids on the policies. So they get medical cover as part of the family up to a certain age. And they'll just pay it and I get like Ellen, if we lived here would be we'd have a cover for her. And her son would just it would be shoes as critical to our family as any other member of the family. And same for a son. So it's just it's just how people operate here slightly differently to other I suppose as people different different cultures different countries with Just some things.
Heather Bicknell 30:01
Yeah, I know, we're way out of scope for the podcasts. But it is just interesting it to learn I you know, you're pretty much everything I in detail like the little details that I know about South Africa's come from, from yours?
Ryan Purvis 30:17
Well, I think it's all relevant because you know, it's relevant to our digital nomad sort of story in the sense that, you know, if we were here for a short period of time, to month holiday, and very different mindsets, and now we're here for six months, maybe a bit longer. So our decisions were slightly different. I mean, the irony for me, not only we what we worried about this, hence why we did it. But you know, when we came out here, we were on travel insurance that already last 90 days, when we got the sense, we're going to be a bit longer, we took out insurance, medical insurance, and there's a waiting period of three months. And to the day, my daughter got sick on the first of June, that was the end of the waiting period. So if she got sick on the 31st, they wouldn't have covered any of her stuff. Whereas she was sick on the first they covered all of it. And then this sort of feeds into if you're going to do this kind of stuff, you need to you need to prepare appropriately. And as I say we've benefited from, from knowing the country and the culture, to what to do. Yeah, so it's worked out for us.
Heather Bicknell 31:27
Are you are you dual citizens?
Ryan Purvis 31:29
Yeah. Yeah. So when we when we my grandmother was born in Kansai, ancestral visa. So we did you got to do five years of living in the UK, and then you can you get a permanent residence, and then one more year, and you get your passport. So if we wanted to get back to the UK, we can go back to the UK, as I'd like, we were worried about that. So we had friends that were here, where she's the wife of Lisa's going through her five year claim on the permanent residents. So she's going to be very careful how long she spends out the country. Because I'll take it, you know, they'll make a restart. So, so those are things to bear in mind. And one of the reasons why we kept our passports is, besides a pride factor is if I go into certain countries, it's actually better to go in on a South African passport that is to go on a British passport. Like Turkey, for example. So, you know, we're talking now, but how do we get back to the UK. And still, I'm still able to work, we're looking at the countries because they've got the traffic light system. We're looking at the countries that are either Amber green, where our past either passport works for us, that we can get into it, and then still get out if we need to. Because if we need to get back to the UK, you know, I can go to the UK embassy and say we need to get back and they'll help us get back. Because we're citizens. already. Thanks. So,
Heather Bicknell 32:55
yeah, talk to you on Wednesday, or will you be available then?
Ryan Purvis 33:00
Yeah, probably should be fine. I'll drop you a text if we're not. Okay. Okay. So just say bye. Bye. Thank you for listening to today's episode. Hey, the big news producer editor. Thank you for your hard work on this episode. He subscribes to the series and rate us on iTunes or the Google Play Store. Follow us on Twitter at the DW W podcast. The show notes and transcripts will be available on the website www dot digital workspace that works. Please also visit our website www dot digital workspace that works and subscribe to our newsletter. And lastly, if you found this episode useful, please share with your friends or colleagues.