With their new Drive2Wellness app, driver Terry Martin and his family are putting better health at drivers’ fingertips.
The emotion shines in Terry Martin’s eyes as he talks about his friend, the driver who had a heart attack at the wheel three years ago.
“53 years old, died,” Martin says curtly. “That shook me to the core.”
But for the tough Nebraskan, a husband and father, the loss of his friend was the catalyst for change.
“One night, I was driving my truck through Wyoming, and I felt there had to be more to life than just this,” he says. “I asked God, what do you want me to do?”
After some soul searching (and some shooting stars telling him he was on the right path), Martin knew just where to go for help—his family. Because in the Martin family, there are mostly two types of professionals—truck drivers and registered nurses.
Drive2Wellness is born
Martin turned to his son T.J. and the five nurses in the family for help. Together, they came up with Drive2Wellness, a mobile monitoring kit and corresponding app that enables truck drivers to gauge their health anywhere, anytime.
The kit features tools that measure key health indicators such as weight, body mass index, blood pressure and oxygen level. For those with diabetes, there’s also a unit that measures glucose levels.
Upon obtaining all these measurements, drivers can upload their data via smartphone, tablet or computer to the Drive2Wellness app, which graphs the results according to Department of Transportation recommended health guidelines.
The app is completely confidential, too. Only the driver has access to the results. And if drivers have any questions, they can consult a nurse through the app for advice.
Saved one life so far
That feature may very well have saved the life of one driver just a few months ago. He was using the app as part of a free promotion for early users, and it was lucky for him.
“He thought he had the flu,” says T.J Martin, the company’s vice president who was instrumental in helping his dad launch Drive2Wellness. “His oxygen level was 80, which is just horrible, so our nurses made sure he was using the device correctly. He was using it correctly, so they started asking him questions.”
The nurses advised the driver to go to the emergency room immediately. Turns out he had a pulmonary embolism. Had he not gone to the hospital, he likely would have died. “Thank God we caught it in time,” T.J. Martin says.
Drivers’ lifestyle contributes to health problems
The elder Martin compares human health to that of a truck, naturally. “You don’t check your tires, you don’t check the oil, you just get up and drive your truck, eventually stuff’s going to go wrong,” he says. “You got a red light going on? Guess what, you’ve got a problem. Well, your body’s the same way. If you ignore your health, something’s going to go wrong.”
While the Drive2Wellness package isn’t cheap ($160-$180), it is important in an industry where drivers are plagued by disproportionately high levels of obesity, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.
“We are so busy out on the road from A to B, B to A, we are not thinking about anything else but picking up this load, delivering this load,” Terry Martin says. “You do not think about your health. But the app makes you think. Because with it, you see your health. And when you see your health, you know your health.”
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