Dr. Eugene Capitano Explains Personalized Activity Intelligence (PAI) Technology
Understanding This New, Breakthrough Development for Incentivizing Cardiovascular Health
During the first two decades of the twenty-first century, the rush to apply cutting-edge technology to matters of health and wellness has produced decidedly mixed results. Chiropractic health coach, Dr. Eugene Capitano, considers the Fitbit: a now ubiquitous wearable device used to measure, among other things, how many footsteps an individual takes over a given amount of time. It then converts this data into a summary of calories burnt, all the while displaying the wearer's progress toward pre-determined goals.
“However, how many steps a person takes in a given time period does not necessarily reflect the quality of their exercise” states Dr. Capitano. “For example, one thousand steps walking is not equal to one thousand steps jogging; the latter is far superior in terms of exercise.” The Fitbit does not take this into account. Not to single out Fitbit—the Apple Watch and other similar fitness tracking devices do much the same thing. These are examples of products whose technology is sound, but whose ability to analyze is ultimately flawed—which is not to say that the numbers they record are wrong per se (although, there have been some cases of that), but rather that the underlying premise of the devices themselves is imperfect.
In an article published by USA Today in 2019, Neel Chokshi, medical director of the sports cardiology and fitness program at Penn Medicine, which has conducted several scientific studies on wearable fitness devices, characterizes their functionality as “just a data dump.” Simply put, the problem is that there is no coherent health management system at play in a Fitbit or Apple Watch, only measurement.
According to Dr. Capitano, “there is now a way to put all those collected measurements to work.” An international team of scientists has developed a new cardiovascular health management formula designed to take into account not only raw quantitative factors, but to integrate them into a system constructed to optimize heart health. It's called Personalized Activity Intelligence (PAI), and since it has received peer-reviewed validation from the scientific community, it has made great waves in health and wellness circles—especially when paired with modern fitness tracking technology. So, what exactly is Personalized Activity Intelligence? How does it integrate with technology? What is the science behind it that is prompting so much excitement among clinicians? What makes using PAI tech superior to merely compiling personal biological data with a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or other wearable fitness tracking device? To answer these questions, it is first necessary to travel back in time.
A Decades-Long Study
The beginnings of what would later lead to the development of PAI lie with a health study conceived and coordinated by scientists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The study was one of the largest of its kind ever undertaken. It took place over the course of more than twenty-five years, from 1974 – 2002, and involved thirty-nine thousand participants, primarily Americans from Texas. From those subjects, a subset of four thousand six hundred were used to develop a point-based formula for cardiovascular management. This was then tested on the rest of the group. After the study was finished, the scientists used the next fourteen-plus years to follow up with their subjects, verifying the collected data. Only then, after such exhaustive testing across such a large sample size, were the conclusions of the Personalized Activity Intelligence study published. They were overwhelmingly positive.
The PAI Point-Based Formula
As any health expert will tell you, in the quest for overall human health and longevity, the single most important metric is heart rate. With that fact in mind, Personalized Activity Intelligence was developed with the goal of improving the long-term cardiovascular health of those who follow it. As alluded to in the paragraph above, PAI is predicated on a point-based formula. It employs the use of a sophisticated algorithm, personalized to the individual, using the factors of age, sex, resting heart rate, and exercised-induced elevated heart rate to calculate scores and reconfigure them as needed. The higher the heart rate and the longer the heart rate is raised, the more PAI points are earned.
The points roll over any given seven day period. That is to say, each day, any points earned seven days previous expire and a brand new tally is made incorporating that day's data. The ultimate target is to accrue one hundred PAI points over the course of a week. In so doing, an individual will gain one hundred percent of the health benefits associated with participating in the Personalized Activity Intelligence system, which is to say optimal heart health. Consistently maintaining a PAI score of one hundred or more has a scientific correlation with adding approximately five years to the average lifespan, as well as decreasing the risk of death by cardiovascular disease by twenty-five percent.
The formula's week-long tracking window is designed to allow for give-and-take in scheduling, as it is unreasonable to suppose that busy people can exercise meaningfully every single day. By the same token, the system is set up so that no more than seventy-five PAI points can be earned in a single day in order to incentivize participants to exercise more than once a week.
Dr. Eugene Capitano on How PAI Integrates With Technology
Of course, in order to participate in PAI, an individual must possess the means to accurately track their own heart rate at almost all times. This is where Fitbit, Apple Watch, and all the other fitness tracking devices re-enter the picture. They are designed to collect precisely that data. By downloading the PAI Health application from the Apple App Store or Google Play, an individual can realize the full potential of these devices by integrating their bio-sensing capabilities with the cardiovascular health algorithm that governs Personalized Activity Intelligence. Other technology that supports PAI software includes the heart rate monitor LYNK2 from Acurofit, as well as the Amazfit GTS and GTR models manufactured by Huami, which come with the PAI functions pre-loaded.
According to a conclusion reached by the American Journal of Medicine, PAI technology has the “huge potential to motivate people to become and stay physically active.” At a time when serious medical research points to chronic inactivity as a more serious health threat than both smoking and obesity, enticing people to consistently engage in meaningful, heart rate-raising exercise has never been more important. By incentivizing participants through its points-based system, and adjusting degrees of difficulty based on past performances through its state-of-the-art analytical algorithm, the Personalized Activity Intelligence health management system accomplishes just that.