HydraCoach: An Intelligent Water Bottle
Drinking enough water is difficult. Exactly how much water people need is debatable (here's a sample calculator), but most people probably aren't drinking enough. Typically, the usual recommendation is 8 ounces of water 8 times a day.
And for people in hot environments and with certain medical conditions, like kidney stones, drinking enough water is critical. To dilute their urine and prevent future stones from forming, people with kidney stones should drink enough water to produce at least 2.5 liters of urine a day -- at least 24-32 ounces three times a day. "You know those people who walk around with water bottles all day?" I tell my patients. "You should become one of those people."
But of course, it's tough to carry around water all the time, it's tough to know how much you've drank, and it's tough to remember to drink that much water.
The HydraCoach is a newly-created "intelligent water bottle" that is designed to calculate daily fluid requirements, monitor how much you drink, and encourage you to drink more water. It's such an obvious idea that I wondered why it hadn't been created before. From the website:
The HydraCoach hydration monitor functions by means of Generated Electronic Pulse technology. A magnetized impeller floating within a sealed cartridge is placed in-line with the path of fluid, and in close proximity to a sensor located within the head unit. When the flow of liquid comes in contact with the impeller, it begins to rotate, causing the equi-spaced magnetic elements embedded within to pass the sensor, generating a small electronic pulse. This pulse is transmitted to the microprocessor where a measurement of fluid volume is calculated. The volume of fluid is directly related to the rate at which the impeller spins and these pulses generated. The amount of fluid passing through the system is shown on the display. The interactive head unit features several buttons that allow the user to toggle between various informative function modes and to input customized settings.I've not tried the Hydracoach personally, but considering the importance of hydration in preventing kidney stones, the next time someone complains that they can't remember to drink enough water, I'll be recommending this device. (It costs $29.95, and if it can help a person prevent even one kidney stone, I think it's worth it.)