The 9 Fitness Technology Gifts To Add to Your List, Stat

As far as I’m concerned, we’re all living in The Jetsons—except, rather than casually owning flying cars, we’re all flying on techy treads, strapping devices that measure our heart rates on our wrists, and taking yoga classes from a magic mirror on the wall. The future is now, folks. So if you have someone on your holiday list who lives the sweat life, we’ve rounded up the best fitness technology buys you can wrap in a bow and feel confident they’ll love.

From smartwatches to wireless earbuds to next-level recovery devices, we’ve rounded up the gifts that just keep on giving—many of which are on sale right now. You can’t go wrong no matter which one you choose, so let’s get shopping, shall we?

Photo: FitbitThe Fitbit Versa 3 arrives packed with cool features. Perhaps most notably, the device records your “active zone minutes” that buzz when you reach your desired heart rate during exercise. That means when the burpees hit just right, you’ll get a little buzz to say “good job.”

Shop now:  Fitbit Versa 3, $230

Photo: Peloton

There are few things I wouldn’t do to own this treadmill. After running on one years ago at the Peloton Tread+ studio in New York City, I instantly started a “Peloton” fund to save up for the day when I would purchase this baby and run it into the sunset. Alas, I’m still saving—but we’ll get there. One of the techy features that makes this treadmill all the rage is the fact that you can use easy-access knobs to adjust your speed and incline in seconds, but there’s so much more in store, fam.

Shop now: Peloton Tread, $2,495

Photo: Amazon

Ah, the Airpods Pro. I’ve written about them so many times because they are worth every word. With noise-cancellation that literally transplants you to a new world, nothing will disrupt your workouts ever again.

Shop now: Apple Airpods Pro, $250


Who needs five different kettlebells when you could just buy one adjustable one? This device can adapt from weighing 12 pounds to 42 in less than three seconds and uses artificial intelligence reporting to record your reps, sets, and workout as a whole.

Shop now: JAXJOX Kettlebell Connect 2.0, $199

Photo: Powerdot

When you gift someone a Powerdot, you’re gifting them a future of home massages. Just strap it onto any sore muscle group and you’ll feel its Smart Muscle Stimulator get to work on repairing those muscles so you can get out for your run, bike ride, or HIIT workout again soon.

Shop now:  Powerdot 2.0, $199

Photo: Oura

Ask any expert—a trainer, a makeup artist, a sleep doctor—and they’ll tell you that eight hours of sleep is essential for doing all the things you love. The Oura Ring pays attention while you sleep and delivers a morning report that gives you the 411 on your slumber.

Shop now: Oura Ring, $299

Photo: Sonos

At-home workouts turn studio-level when you add this Sonos speaker.

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Shooter in the ED? Get to the Rad Room, STAT

What should you do when someone begins shooting up the emergency department? Don’t grab a phone to call 911 or help your patients. Flee instead: Run outside or to the protection of the radiation room. And maybe grab a fire extinguisher – yes, really — and get ready to fight for your life.

The best strategy of all is preparation via a frank, assumption-busting threat assessment at your ED, an emergency physician who’s investigated three major mass shootings told colleagues at the virtual American College of Emergency Physicians annual meeting.

Hospitals will find, for example, that rivals of injured gang members typically pose less of a threat than intimate partners of abused patients, said Howie Mell, MD, MPH, who currently works at a hospital in suburban St. Louis and who consulted on investigations of the Columbine, Aurora, and Virginia Tech mass shootings.

Mell was a firefighter and paramedic in the Chicago area for 8 years prior to his medical training.

When a shooting happens, he said, it’s crucial to escape the scene, not only for your personal safety but to be able to call for help and describe the threat to law enforcement. “If you believe there is gunfire, you should be moving towards an exit. I’ve seen a couple of hospital disaster plans that say, ‘Call 911 and then run and hide.’ That doesn’t work so good. Leave first, then dial.”

Some ED professionals tell Mell that they couldn’t abandon their patients in this scenario. He thinks differently. “It’s unfortunate, but I don’t honestly believe that we can protect our patients by our presence. I have very little problem with leaving, assuming that this doesn’t all go down while I’m in the middle of a life-saving procedure. [In that case,] I’m going to continue that procedure and then skedaddle. But otherwise, no.”

What if you can’t escape the ED and need to hide? Mell recommends running to the radiation rooms. These can allow “cover” – something that protects you physically from a shooter – as compared to less-effective “concealment” like a curtain or sheetrock wall that won’t stop bullets. Strong, lead-lined walls provide extra physical protection in radiation rooms, he said, along with their booths and a typical lack of external glass windows.

When it comes to hiding, he said, “this isn’t a kids’ game of hide and seek” where the goal is not to be found. Instead, focus on putting up barricades between yourself and the shooter. “This is a game of making that person work to come and get you,” he said.

If confronted by a shooter, he said, fight for your life.

“I happen to like fire extinguishers when it comes down to fights because you can spray a fire extinguisher into the person’s face, and then you’ve got a big heavy piece of metal that you can hit them with,” he said. “It’s disorienting to get hit full in the face with a chemical fire extinguisher. We’re not used to thinking that way as healthcare

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As STAT turns 5, a look back at science and medicine’s biggest headlines

The past five years have been packed with medical and scientific advances, a series of public health crises that have gripped the world, and uproar over rising prescription drug costs.

They’ve also been a heck of a time to launch a publication about health and medicine.

As STAT celebrates its five-year anniversary, our reporters took a look back at six areas we’ve covered closely — CRISPR, infectious disease, the opioid crisis, drug pricing, AI in medicine, and cell and gene therapy — to recap the biggest headlines and controversies and cast an eye to what may lie ahead.


Breaker for 5 year

CRISPR: A Nobel, He Jiankui’s bombshell, and an ugly patent fight

Even before STAT published its first stories, we knew CRISPR would be big: Breakthrough scientific papers in 2012 and early 2013 showed that this technique for changing the DNA of plants and animals was so easy to use that labs across the world would seize on it to understand basic biological processes as well as develop cures for genetic diseases. That’s why my first story for STAT profiled one of CRISPR’s inventors, biologist Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute. Check out his “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” analogy.

Sure enough, just five years later, CRISPR became Nobel big: Earlier this month, biochemist Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, and microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors. The award was the first science Nobel won by two women.


What I never suspected was how fast a CRISPR nightmare might come true, how agonizingly long drug development takes, and what an ugly fight over patents CRISPR would spawn.

CRISPR’s inventors knew from the get-go that it would be theoretically possible to use the technique to alter the genes of human embryos, creating “designer babies.” That seemed like something a rogue researcher might try in, oh, 10 years. Yet there I was in Hong Kong in November 2018, at the second international conference on human genome editing, when China’s He Jiankui dropped his bombshell: He’d CRISPR’d human embryos, resulting in the birth of twin, genetically altered girls. That ignited a firestorm of condemnation and hand-wringing that the global scientific community hadn’t tried hard enough to stop him.

Also in the hand-wringing category: The fight over CRISPR patents between the Broad Institute and the University of California has been an eye-opener with its legal costs (well into eight figures; think of the science that would buy), ugly accusations, and sheer persistence.

Two happier CRISPR surprises: significant improvements on the original technique and the growing list of human diseases it might treat or cure, if success in lab mice is any indication.

With several companies as well as academic scientists already using CRISPR in clinical trials, one message from 2015 has stuck: CRISPR might actually live up to its hype, becoming the powerhouse genetic cure scientists dreamed of.

— Sharon Begley

Breaker for 5 year

Infectious disease: From

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