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5 Good Medical Gifts in 2020

This is not a line of gifts I’d ever imagine coming up but this year looking after your health and the health of your loved ones has never been so important. We find ourselves in a once in life time situation where we can’t always be there for everyone, especially being with the extended family as much as we once were. That’s why we have put together this list of important medical items that can be practical gifts to help keep their health in check during these unprecedented times.      

Anpole weekly pillbox

Lives can be busy and whether your already an organised person or someone looking to introduce some element of organisation into a loved one’s daily routine.

Following a loved one’s recent operation, we had to think quickly how we could help make sure their recovery was a speedy one whilst enabling them to remain as independent as possible. This pill / supplement organiser really played its part. The multiple sections per day made it clear and concise for organising their treatment, whilst the handy leather cover added an element of privacy, not many people would want others knowing their business, so this really helps.

Finally, each of the days are removable so should you go on a weekend away, there isn’t the necessity to take the full kit, just take the days you want and off you go.

They are available for available for $ / £ 7.99 HERE

AFAC Oximeters

Oximeters have been extremely popular this year, the reason being that they have been recognised by health officials including nhs uk as a quick indication of lung health conditions including coronavirus.

They work by clipping on to a finger, the light shines through your finger displaying the blood oxygen saturation level and pulse rate in a quick and completely pain free manner. The recommended oxygen level is between 95-100, so its easy to see if you have any issues and if your levels fall below these numbers. They are powered by two AAA batteries.

These oximeters are available for $ / £17.99 HERE.

Merrimen Disposable Facemasks

2020 will be known as the year of the facemask, along with hand washing they are the first line of defence in protecting yourself and others in these challenging times.  These masks come in a pack of 50, they are comfortable and much easier to breath in than the cloth masks. They also have the important metal bar to ensure a tight fit over the nose rarely seen on the cloth masks.

 The Merrimen Facemasks are available for $/£8.89 HERE

Alivecor KardiaMobile EKG monitor

This device allows people to keep check of their heart health without the need to visit the physician by performing a EKG at their own discretion on a smart phone.

 Simply install the app on your phone and place two fingers of each hand on the nodes and 30 seconds later you have your results, no wires, patches or gels needed. The app automatically looks at your result and alerts you if there are any problems, though this is reassuring you also have the option of sending the EKG to a cardiologist for a small fee 5 pounds if you’d prefer trained human eyes to look over your results.

It can detect AFib, Bradycardia and Tachycardia and the device can be used as much as you want and there are no hidden costs once you have bought it, there is however an optional premium subscription but that only offers unlimited storage to store results and a schedule to send your reports to you via email monthly. I’ve been using this item for two years and never filled the storage so I’d recommend against getting the premium for now.

The Alivecor KardiaMobile EKG monitor is available for $ /£99 HERE

Butterfly IQ smartphone ultrasound

Our final item is the amazing smartphone ultrasound the Butterfly IQ, though some may consider it a luxury item given its price, it really is another leap forward in accessible technology for the masses.

Included are the scanner probe and a choice of either lightning or usb-c cable, depending on what platform your using. Using b-mode or color doppler mode, the scanner displays live images under the skin on to your phone in real time, these images can he labelled and measured just like a real ultrasound. The basic subscription does not include the option to capture the images so the package would need to be upgraded to gain access to your images at a later date. Butterfly

IQ smartphone ultrasound is available for $1999 /£1699 HERE

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Best escape room puzzle game to play at home

Exit The Game by Kosmos, escape room puzzles for 1- 4 players.

Puzzled by the idea ‘perfect gift’? well, puzzle no more. Over recent months it has at times proven difficult to find things to entertain the family, particularly if you’re looking for something that helps pull them away from the screens and consoles. The popularity of escape rooms in recent years has grown massively and though we aren’t as able to go out and do these things as freely as we did in the past, we can bring the challenge into our homes thanks to the collection of escape room puzzles by Kosmos.

There are currently 10 games to choose from in the series but they are constantly adding more to the series. These are very cleverly produced, not only do you get everything that you need in the box to set up the activity but there are enough aspects to the puzzles that several people can actively be involved in solving the puzzles at the same time or alternatively you can work through the puzzle alone.

The games come with a selection of cards, a puzzle book, code disc and other items specific to that game that help you solve a puzzle (not shown). You use the riddle cards along with the puzzle book and code disc to identify the answer number card you need to turn over for each puzzle. They also come with a selection of clue cards if you need a helping hand. The game helps you along every step of the way by telling you exactly which card you need to pick up so, providing you’ve chosen the correct answer in the first place that is.

In addition to the items received in the box, there is also a supporting app available for download, whether it be IOS or Android, the app brings a new element to the puzzle by adding atmospheric sounds and a timer to race against. Of course, no harm done if you want to tackle the puzzles without the timer element, admittedly when we played it, tensions built to the point we had to mute the app!

The games come across five level ratings, levels 1-2 are great for younger players or new players to the series, these typically can be completed in around 1-2 hours. Level three games take around 2-3 hours are rewarding but challenging. The top levels 4-5, are for those who like a tough challenge and can easily take 3+ hours to complete.

Another great aspect is this is only one in a whole range of puzzles. We’re already debating over which one to try next!

The Exit the game puzzles by Kosmos are for 10+ years and are available from $10:59 Here / £13:50 Here:

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5 Best Pain Relief Gifts

If you know someone who suffers from chronic pain or frequent muscle tension after a workout why not get them a gift that will actually be useful. Though it might not be the usual thing to gift someone it’s a present that could potentially improve their quality of life.  This article will look at five very different types of pain relief massagers across all budget types in order to help you choose that perfect pain relief gift.

Beenax Massage Ball Set

These ball sets come with one lacrosse ball and one spiky ball so you get the option of trying out each to find what your most comfortable with. They can be used to good effect in the neck, shoulders, back and feet, personally I find the lacrosse ball better for back and leg pain and spiky ball better for the feet. These are light and portable and are better option on budget or for someone who need more focused pain as opposed to wider pain areas, more suitable to using a massage roller.

Beenax Massage Ball Set is available for £8.99.

Click the image for buying options:

Ultrasport Massage Roller

This is a very effective self-massage treatment roller, primary designed for back and leg problems and to help relieve muscle tension in these areas.  The hard foam roll is also suitable for use as a fascia roller for rehabilitation training. The roller is 38 centimetres long and would be a good option for someone who needs a soothing and gentle way of relieving pain or muscle tension across a large area.

The Ultrasport Massage Roller is available for £24.99.

Click the image for buying options:

The MANLI cordless head massager

The MANLI cordless head massager is a fantastic piece of kit and although it can be used on other parts of the body it’s primary focus is providing a soothing massage for the head to help with headaches and stress.  The massager has four single heads which rotate clockwise or anticlockwise and at two different speed settings, this provides a wonderful soothing sensation as it is pressed gently on to the head.  The massage heads each have 7 knots that are made of rubber which provide a soft sensation on the head helping you to feel relaxed and comfortable.  The fact that this item is a wireless is also a huge bonus as it can be very limiting when you were tethered to a cable, this also means that you can take the MANLI cordless head massager with you anywhere.

This device requires no batteries as it has its own built in rechargeable battery that lasts a surprisingly long time, almost 2 weeks with moderate use and a 2-hour charging time.  When it comes to charging the battery this is made easier as the massager comes this its own docking station base and common usb mini charging cable.

The Manli massager is available for £22.99.

Click the image for buying options

Naipo Percussion massager

This massager is motor operated and provides a quick massage effect on painful areas of the body, it comes with heat button to assist soothing the painful area and a variable speed switch to finely tune the massage for your needs. The massager is designed to be used in multiple areas of the body including the back, foot, leg, calf, neck and shoulder. Included also are 3 heads made of ABS plastic and 3 of the same design made of silicon. The plastic heads give a more intense massage that I find are better used over clothing whereas the silicon heads provide a gentler massage and better used directly on the skin.

This item is great when you need to focus on intense small painful areas but you need to bear in mind that this massager is wired and it needs to be plugged into the mains at all times, though the cable is reasonably long its does limit you to where you can use it.

Naipo Percussion massager is priced at £29.99.   

Click the image for buying options

ABOX Muscle Massage Gun

Similar to the Naipo Percussion massager, the ABOX muscle massage gun offers the next level of intensive massaging. The massager has a 30W High-torque Brushless Motor produces max 3300 powerful strokes per minute to reach tissue up to 12mm. It is equipped with 8 different shapes of massage heads; it provides a relaxing massage experience to help relax all parts of the body and it is able to be set to 30 different speeds so it can be perfecty fine-tuned to suit. It is cordless and comes with a long-lasting battery which lasts around 8 hours of continuous use. Though this item is the most expensive on this list, it provides a deep level of massage therapy and is perfect if other massagers are not making an effect on the pain.    

ABOX Muscle Massage Gun is priced at £99.99.   

Click the image for buying options

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Buying a 3D printer as a gift – Things to consider.

Would a 3D printer be a good gift?

 

In recent years the popularity of 3D printers has grown enormously with a huge number of options to choose from coupled with a massive fall in prices has made 3D printing available to more people. Many people now own a 3D printer and the community has never been bigger but how do you know if 3D printer is a good gift for someone. This article looks at things to consider when thinking of getting a 3D printer and ultimately if you will make a good gift. 

 

How a 3d printer works

This article looks at the most popular and starter friendly style of printing which is Fused Deposition Modelling. A FDM 3D printer works by heating plastic (known as filament, sold separately) and then as a plastic feeds through the nozzle it is positioned, as it cools it hardens creating a tiny layer.  These layers are typically less than 1 mm and are printed on top of each of other to create an object, similar to building a brick wall.  The process of hardening the plastic is quick once it leaves the printer nozzle but printing many tiny layers to make an object takes a long time, typically around 2 hours for items around 10cm high to potentially days for much larger prints.

I replaced a broken section of room rail with this 3d print. (Note the layers are visable when looking closely )

What to consider when buying a 3D printer

The biggest thing for somebody starting out in 3D printing is to ensure that it is as easy to get started as possible, as we all find things more enjoyable the easier, they are to pick up.  A printer that automatically levels the print bed so that it is ready to be used one print after the next is a necessity. I can speak from personal experience when having to finely adjust the printer after every item was the single most annoying feature of owning a printer. The cheapest printers available will often require manual flattening of the print bed after every use so this is why you will need to pay a little more than the cheapest price for an enjoyable printer experience.

Though it wasn’t always been the case the difference in quality of the print is minimal of these days as long the printer is an established brand, print quality shouldn’t be an issue. You will see a big difference in print quality between unbranded cheap printers and the ones recommended in this article.

Another thing to consider is the size of the print area, this can’t be changed on most printers so it’s something that should be considered from the outset. Personally, I find a mid-range size of around 20 x 20 x 20cm print area is suitable for most needs, if you need larger objects the prints can easily be glued together and you must also consider the physical size taken up by these machines. It’s only when you get these machines home that you appreciate how big they can be and how much room they take up, always research the size of the machine and plan where it will be housed before buying.  

Printer Nozzle

Is it hard to use a 3d printer.

As with everything new there will always be some sort of learning curve and 3D printing is no different.  There are many websites that allow 3D models to be downloaded free for you to print without restriction, one of the most popular is Thingyverse.com.  Every object you can think of is likely to be available to print from there and as all models are provided by other people you can also upload your own models for others to download themselves.  Although this is perfectly fine the real fun from 3D printing comes from either modifying an existing model to suit your needs or by building your own models from scratch to your specification.  If the person you were thinking of buying for all likes being creative and trying new things a 3D printer is the perfect gift. Creating 3D models can be done quite easily in 3D paint program with is included on windows 10 , then as their modelling skills improve and they wish to try to create more complex models most 3D modelling programs support exporting the files to the printers.  The printers often comes with a software package for a computer to start the printer, these are easy to use but a computer and basic computer knowledge is required to use a printer.

Conclusions

Hopefully this has given you a better understanding of what to look for in a 3D printer and ultimately if it is a suitable gift. A fantastic gift for someone who is creative and who likes to learn new things, as an option for those who want a quick plug and play option and things to be done automatically would be best looking somewhere else for a gift.

Below I have recommend two printers one by flashforge and the other by cetus both these companies have been making good printers for many years and over that time they have upgraded items to deliver the best printer possible. Never go for the unbranded option in 3D printing and always research the company making them, see their track record and product reviews, a single bad 3D printing experience is enough to put someone off entirely. I have also included some recommendations for 3d printer filament below.

It is extremely satisfying to create your own object, be it ornamental, gifts, toys or just to create something to fill a need around the house, the feeling of holding something that did not exist 1 or 2 hours earlier never gets old.