Wearable technology is an expanding market that encompasses fitness trackers, smartwatches and other wearable devices that monitor health data. Many of these gadgets connect to apps to assist users in managing their lifestyle and health goals.
Wearing a fitness tracker or smart watch has many advantages, from helping improve one's physical activity and tracking sleep habits, to encouraging healthy habits and motivating people to make lifestyle changes.
Although wearable devices offer many advantages, there can be drawbacks as well. Some devices may not provide accurate readings while others can become distracting enough to cause users to miss important calls or texts.
Some wearable devices can be quite pricey, so consumers must carefully consider their cost of ownership prior to making a decision about purchasing one. Some require ongoing maintenance costs which may prove prohibitive for some users.
Many healthcare providers are turning to wearable technology as an invaluable way of better serving their patients. Wearable devices provide doctors with a quick way of diagnosing illnesses and diseases quickly, while the treatment process becomes even simpler as medical staff can quickly refer back to data accumulated from these devices.
Wearable biosensors can monitor patients' heart rates, respiratory rates, skin temperatures, body posture and fall detection to help doctors and nurses predict and prevent serious medical issues such as cardiac or respiratory arrest. Philips' Biosensor can reduce these events by 89% due to early sign detection that allows it to detect early symptoms of illness that prevent medical complications for its users.
Wearable medical devices have grown increasingly complex over the years. From sensors and implants to clothing, wearable devices have expanded exponentially over time in the medical field. Examples include microchip implants that use near-field communication (NFC) or radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to replace keys and passwords; lifeshirts equipped with sensors have also become an invaluable way for chronically ill, elderly, and cardiac patients to monitor vital signs more easily.
E-skin technology, or wearable technology in general, is another type of wearable technology designed to monitor chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart failure. The thin wireless patch can be attached directly to the chest for use and picks up electro signals from the heart to gather vital signs. It can help monitor patients undergoing chronic therapies like treatment with medication such as insulin infusions.
As shown by the surfer in the video above, it can also help keep people safe when surfing or swimming in deep waters. Emergency responders could then be dispatched directly to his location.
These devices, whether worn on the wrist or attached to clothing, always connect to an app and can transmit and receive data in real-time. As these gadgets advance further they are now capable of measuring a range of medical data such as blood pressure, heart rate, and glucose levels.
Future prospects look optimistic for these devices and their ability to radically alter our daily lives. Reliable, affordable devices will become available that offer more healthcare applications than ever before - as well as being used to monitor a patient's medical history and track healing progress over time.