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Healthy Father's Day gadgets for dad

CNN
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 2:09pm

Thinking about buying your dear old dad some argyle socks or monogrammed golf balls for Father's Day?

Think again. What he really wants is the high-tech stuff! And there are several gadgets that can actually make a difference in your father's health. Here's a look at five gift choices:

It's a heart monitor! It's an iPhone case!

The AliveCor heart rate monitor phone case doubles as portable EKG monitor and an iPhone case. Users place their fingers over the two metal leads on the back of the case, and within seconds get a live look at the electrical signals in their heart.

Why is this important? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in America, taking more than 600,000 lives each year. If your dad or his doctor are concerned about his heart, this can help them keep track on the go, and for less than $200.

It's FDA-approved for purchase by physicians or by their patients with a prescription. Once dad takes a reading, he can e-mail the report directly to his doctor.

If your dad's hearing is slipping

If his heart is in the right place, but it's his ears you're worried about, check out the Personal Audio Enhancer PAE-300.

Dad may be too stubborn to get a hearing aid, but you can disguise this bad boy as a new, sleek gadget. The PAE-300 can be set up via a wireless connection to beam the TV audio directly to his ears, but it can also be used for everyday situations where it may be difficult to hear.

One thing you'll be able to hear quite well, however, is the "cha-ching" sound, as the PAE-300 will set you back $399.

Colored lights as safety device

From "let there be sound" to "let there be light," the next Father's Day gadget is the Philips Hue system.

This WiFi-connected set of light bulbs doesn't just turn on and off by way of an iPhone or iPad. It also lets the user change the light bulb's hue (get it?) to any color in the spectrum.

So what's the health benefit? There are several: everything from "setting the mood" for sex, which is known to improve your health and happiness, to being a visual alert system for hearing-impaired people. The company is also working on software allowing you to check in on elderly parents with Hue light bulbs -- the product can send you text alerts if they don't turn on their lights by a certain time each morning.

The Hue starter pack comes with a wireless access bridge and three bulbs and sells for $199 at Apple stores or online. The system can control up to 50 bulbs individually, and additional bulbs sell for $59.

Keep an eye on calories in beverages

If dad needs help shedding weight, but still likes his wine, then check out Wine Trax.

This modern-but-elegant set of wine glasses has lines etched in the glasses at 4, 6 and 8 ounces, so you know when to say when. A 4-ounce glass of vino will set you back 100 calories; double that for an 8-ounce glass. This set of two glasses is only $28 -- and of course you can use other beverages as well.

Elegant Portions, Wine Trax's parent company, was started by Gail Curtis, a Eugene, Oregon, interior designer who was laid off from her job designing luxury bus interiors.

"As a weight-watching person, it was my way to still enjoy wine and not have to pull out measuring cups," said Curtis.

Get dad moving

The FitBit Flex band is a multitasker: During the day, worn on the wrist, it tracks your father's steps, distance covered and calories burned. At night, it can track his sleep, measuring how long he sleeps and the number of times he wakes up. In the morning, it can vibrate to wake him silently.

The Flex automatically syncs with a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and more. Dad can use the free online tools and mobile app to set and reach goals and track his progress. He can also log his food and workouts.

The Flex is about $100 and can be purchased online.
 

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