stanford medical center

Sleek, high-tech wristbands are extremely popular these days, promising to measure heart rate, steps taken during the day, sleep, calories burned and even stress.

And, increasingly, patients are heading to the doctor armed with reams of data gathered from their devices. “They’re essentially asking us to digest the data and offer advice about how to avoid cardiovascular disease,” says cardiologist Euan Ashley, associate professor of medicine at the Stanford University Medical Center and Stanford Hospital and Clinics in northern California. And, being somewhat near Silicon Valley, he says he gets a lot of tech-savvy patients bringing fitness-tracker data to appointments.

The problem, he says, is that he just didn’t know how reliable that data was. So, he and colleagues decided to study seven of the most popular devices and compare their accuracy to the gold-standard tests that doctor’s use.

Fitness Trackers: Good at Measuring Heart Rate, Not So Good At Measuring Calories

Photo: Paul Sakuma/Courtesy of Stanford University School of Medicine

Officially Diagnosed!

After months of waiting I finally had my tilt table test yesterday so now my P.O.T.S diagnosis is official. They upped the dose on my Florinef and will do a follow up appointment with me in a few weeks. When I got home yesterday I ordered a medical ID dog tag, I have been wanting to for awhile, but was waiting for my diagnosis to be officially confirmed. I figured it would be good to have one for if I have a fainting episode while I am out and about on my own. It will take a few weeks to be engraved and then shipped here.

Glad to finally have the testing over with. Now the doctors can start actually treating me. The Stanford P.O.T.S clinic is an amazing and caring team of doctors. After my appointment my mom started crying with relief that finally we found some doctors who get it and who can take care of her “little girl” (I am 18, but her youngest child so I will always be the baby of the family :p) There is an amazing vegan restaurant right by the hospital so we went and chowed down afterwards. I think I am slowly converting a few of my family members to veganism without even trying. They are realizing how much more energy they have after a vegan meal as compared to a “conventional” one. Even my sister who hates any and all health food commented on how amazing all the food was when we had dinner at our friend Kress’ house on Monday.

Home Alone and Sopranos Star John Heard Has Died

John Heard — the actor known for his role in several iconic ’80s and ’90s movies including Big, Beaches, and Home Alone — died Friday in Palo Alto, California, the Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office confirms to PEOPLE. He was 71.

The Palo Alto Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE that a man fitting Heard’s description was found dead at a local hotel.

“I can confirm that our officers responded with the Fire Department to a hotel in our city yesterday on a report of a person in need of medical aid,” The police spokesperson said. “The person was determined to be deceased. While still under investigation, the death is not considered suspicious at this time.”

Heard’s rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to TMZ, the Washington, D.C. native was reportedly recovering from a “minor back surgery” he had on Wednesday at Stanford Medical Center.

With a four-decade career in Hollywood and more than 200 credits on stage and screen, Heard appeared in a number of well-known projects — including Gladiator, The Pelican Brief, White Chicks, NCIS: Los Angeles, and The Trip to Bountiful.

His most popular role perhaps came in 1990’s Home Alone, where he stared as Peter McCallister — the loving (yet forgetful) dad to Macaulay Culkin‘s Kevin. Heard would reprise the role in the 1992 sequel.

The Sopranos would give Heard another recognizable role, as Vin Makazian — a New Jersey police detective who fed information to Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini). He appeared in five episodes in the hit HBO series.

In Beaches, he played John Pierce — the love interest to Bette Midler’s C.C. Bloom who had a flirtatious relationship with C.C.’s bestie Hillary (Barbara Hershey).

He made his Broadway debut in 1973’s Warp and would return to the Broadway stage three more times —including in the 1983 revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, where he played the famed Gentleman Caller alongside Oscar winner Jessica Tandy.

Guess who gets to get poked and prodded even more! (spoiler alert: it's me)

FINALLY had my appointments with the P.O.T.S specialists at Stanford this week. Got a lot of blood tests and have a lot of oh so fun medical testing to look forward to in the coming months. A full panel of autonomic function tests, a breath test, a smartpill motility study, and another endoscopy/colonoscopy. Yaaaaaaaaaaaay… Even though the testing will be unpleasant, I am glad that I will be getting more answers. Also, there happens to be a really good vegan restaurant right near Stanford, so mum takes me there after my appointments for a treat.

My dad is in the hospital. He has ulcerative colitis and has been able to manage it for about 7 years now but for the past three weeks he has been incredibly ill. Yesterday his body seemed to just give up on him and we took him to the emergency room. He was shaking, feverish, a little was just really bad. He’s not doing great but is a lot better than yesterday. His doctor said that if we didn’t take him it’s very possible that he could have died. He is getting new treatment today and we are waiting to see if he is stable enough to be transported to Stanford Medical Center. He seems excited about the possibility of going via helicopter. If you pray, please pray for him. If you don’t, please send over good vibes, pixie dust, happy thoughts, etc.