U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson - Appropriations Committee Interior Chairman
U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson - 2nd District of Idaho

Idaho Step Challenge Newsletter
August, 2016

New Mile Tracking Board Available

After nearly three months on the road, the Idaho STEP Challenge is off to a fast and fun start. With more than 300 individuals and 27 teams participating, our virtual walk across America has ventured from the nation’s capital, up the eastern seaboard, and into the Great Lakes region of the Midwest. If you’d like to see your progress on the #hikewithMike journey, check out the latest Mile Tracker Board.

Currently, Congressman Simpson has logged 594 total miles, which puts him near the city of Topeka, Indiana. This rural agrarian community was settled in 1832, and is known for its large Amish population. The city is also the hometown of Byron L. Price, a reporter for the Associated Press who during World War II led the Office of Censorship, and later oversaw construction of the United Nation's building in New York.

Check Your Gear for Wear and Tear

The Idaho STEP Challenge is approximately one-quarter of the way to completion. Now is a good time to check your activity gear for wear and tear.

Recently, an Idaho STEP Challenge participant noticed a peculiar drop in their daily steps, miles, and heart rate being captured on their device. When the out-of-range numbers continued, the participant inspected their activity tracker and noticed a crack had formed in the wristband. The crack was preventing the accelerometer from capturing accurate data and interfering with skin contact necessary for some measurements. To fix the problem, a new band was purchased.

On a related note, if you’ve been using the same pair of shoes for several months it may be time to replace them. Industry experts suggest replacing your running shoes after 500 miles, or six-months of regular use. While these numbers have been disputed, the best advice is to inspect your shoes occasionally. If your feet, knees, or joints hurt after a walk or run, it might be time to upgrade.

FDA Evaluating Real World Data Gathering

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released draft guidance and a call for public comment on its plans for evaluating real-world medical device data. The goal is to determine if a patient’s experience using a device – like an activity tracker, insulin pump, or pacemaker – may provide relevant and reliable information to help shape regulatory decision-making.

In other words, the agency is moving to develop a national evaluation system that leverages real-world data to “more quickly identify safety problems, to better understand the benefit-risk profile of devices used in clinical care, and to reduce the time and cost of evidence generation to inform FDA premarket approval and clearance.”

If you’d like to learn more, the agency’s draft guidance can be read here, or you can read more about remote medical monitoring in this USA Today article, or this Information Week article.

Meet Me Monday Hosts Rep. Simpson

In partnership with the Saint Alphonsus Health System, Congressman Simpson joined dozens of Meet Me Monday participants for a walk around downtown Boise on Monday, August 15. Check out the photos from the walk on the organization’s Facebook page.   

Meet Me Monday is a free weekly fitness walk and run event held every Monday year-round in several locations across the Treasure Valley. On average, more than 80 people attend the weekly walk as a way to improve their health of mind, body and spirit; spend time with family and friends; and support the community through active engagement.