Smartwatches are becoming more popular for healthcare professionals. Most therapists and nurses can be seen with Apple Watches. While I have not used the Apple Watch myself as I have an Android smartphone, my wife has one and she is a big fan of it. The Apple Watch would probably be a no-brainer if you are in the Apple ecosystem, but you may be considering other possibilities – and you should.
As I am writing this, I am cognizant of who my audience is. As occupational therapists are primarily women, they likely have an iPhone. So again, an Apple Watch would likely be your natural choice.
Of course, there are many Android users out there too, so the Apple Watch is out currently not an option as the Apple Watch only works with iPhones. If you have a Samsung phone, you are probably considering a Samsung SmartWatch. I have not tried it, but ultimately I decided to opt for an alternative and so far I have been very happy with my decision.
My Requirements for a Smartwatch
- Military time and automatically updates with the phone’s time for DST
- Multiple watch faces
- Long battery life (several days would be okay, a week would be better, and even longer would be perfect)
- Activity tracker (heart rate, steps)
- Phone notifications (texts, apps)
- Easy-to-use and invoke stopwatch and countdown timer for therapy and reminders to clock-in/out for lunch
- Removable watch straps
- Relatively inexpensive
The Perfect Smartwatch for My Needs
Amazfit Bip – Less than $75
- The Amazfit Bip smartwatch comes with 30-day long battery life on a single charge of 2.5-hours.
- Optical heart rate monitoring and built-in GPS to track daily step count, distance traveled, calories burned, and sleep quality.
- 4-sport modes – outdoor running, treadmill, cycling and walking with detailed insights into most frequent activities.
- Get notifications for emails, SMS messages, and incoming phone calls as well as alerts for Facebook, Twitter, weather forecasts, etc.
- This smartwatch comes in 4 colors and a bright always-on 1.28” display and is compatible with both Google Android and Apple iOS.
Why the Amazfit Bip Rocks
- 30-day battery life compared to Apple Watch which needs to be charged every few days.
- Always on screen…because it’s a watch and I feel you should be able to look at it right away without watching for the screen to turn on (Apple Watch is not).
- Has a backlight for low light.
- Has a LARGE library of watch faces to choose from (Apple Watch has limited selection).
- Tracks your heart rate, steps, calories.
- Costs 18% of an Apple Watch.
Room for Improvement
- Screen could be brighter
- Touch screen is very sensitive leading to some accidental touches while stopwatch/timer are running
- Cannot set alarms on the watch by itself, need to do it from the phone
- Font size may be too small for those with visual acuity issues
We live in uncertain times. PDPM. PDGM. Telehealth. COVID-19 with many people, including occupational therapists getting laid off. The changing healthcare system.
The future of OT and its earning potential remains unclear.
Why spend so much money to have the latest and greatest Apple Watch. OT’s focus is on function, and for me, the Amazfit Bip functions way better and at a fraction of the cost. Do yourself a favor and save as much money as you can early on so you can retire early and spend time pursuing your goals.