There is an old saying that medicine only amuses the patient and nature cure the disease. Things have so much changed from those days that now change is the only constant thing in the arena of healthcare and health focused wearable. Surgical procedures are improving, next-gen drugs are coming continuously, and patients are provided with more and more personal care.
All this have been possible due to advancement in electronics that made a strong technological footprint in the field of healthcare and medicine. Healthcare wearable technologies have gone through a great explosion in the past decade and now are at the heart of the things. It has currently become the key to optimal healthcare making inroads in the various fields.
Wearable technologies have been adopted in healthcare for many reasons. They offer convenient ways for health monitoring that makes use of preventive medicines possible. This is a vital requirement in modern societies with a large number of ageing populations and the prevalence of chronic diseases.
This write-up aims to throw some light on some of the top health focused wearable technologies that provide multi-dimensional medical solutions through the analysis of real-time data.
What are health focused wearable technologies?
These are electronic devices that collect biological data of the wearer for prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment of various health conditions. These include smart-phones, smart-watches, wristbands, jewelry. Other than their clinical function, they are also used to keep a record of activities & workouts and set goals for improving fitness levels.
Companies engaged in healthcare wearable
Health-focused wearable technologies collect a large amount of data and analyze the same by pairing with software. Almost all big players like Apple, Facebook, FitBit, Garmin, Google, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, Vuzix, and Xiaomi are in this market. Their products include fitness & activity trackers, smart-watches, smart contact lenses, wristbands, wireless headphones, VR headsets, etc. All of these are nicely designed to blend with fashion attributes.
Know the popular wearable
- Activity tracking bands
- Smart glasses
- Virtual & augmented reality headsets
- Smart clothing, jewelry, and shoes
- Mobile ECG
- Mobile BP monitors
- Chest, calf and ankle straps
- Types of data collected
Wearable technologies help one understand own health and allow participating in that. Loaded with sensors and mobile applications they can measure everything much frequently for observing changes with time.
While data collection lets one know the state of health, it also motivates to make changes in lifestyle for betterment. It can be of three types: random, intermittent, and continuous. Checking weight and blood pressure are examples of random data collection.
Intermittent data or symptom-driven data collection covers patients with specific episodic symptoms. This is great for the diagnosis and management of the condition. Continuous data helps to identify various patterns in persons without symptoms. They cover the following parameters:
- Time of activity
- Burnt calories
- Heart rate & rhythm
- Blood Pressure
- Quality and amount of sleep
- Body temperature
- Glucose level
- Oxygen level & tissue oxygenation
- Movement patterns
- Sweat analysis
- Brainwaves (electroencephalogram)
- Cardiorespiratory function
- Muscle biosignals (electromyography)
- Emotional State
- Cognitive function
Role of wearable technology in healthcare
With the advancement in technology, individuals are now getting over their state of health and its outcome regularly. Healthcare wearable technologies make people more active by providing an in-depth understanding of daily health indications. These include many things form heart rate, blood pressure, sugar level, sleep quality, reproductive cycle, etc. Patients can share such information with healthcare professionals. Thus, doctors can craft the most suitable individual healthcare plan. This helps to prevent and cure many serious conditions.
Advantages of wearable technologies
Thanks to the health-focused wearable technologies! It is because of them that there have been some magical performances in healthcare and medicines in the recent past. Other than the smart-watches and bands, these include sensors that can be encapsulated in costume or jewelry.
These are boon for the patients, especially those who are suffering from chronic conditions. They give an accurate picture of the condition for better diagnosis and treatment without disturbing the fashion quotient.
Moreover, healthcare wearable technologies help to reduce medical expenses. Due to early diagnosis, an easier treatment regimen can be adopted. This saves much of the hospital expenses. The healthcare professionals also benefit from the4se as the data collected help them understand the intensity of the condition.
The best thing about the health focused wearable technologies is that they provide you with the care when you need it most. As these stays continuously with the patients, they are excellent for prognosis and tackling emergencies. Some sophisticated wearable suggests first aids that might save the situation until medical help is received.
Potential health focused wearable technologies
With havoc technological advancement in the recent past, the healthcare sector has gained more access to information for understanding patient behavior. This is a great leap forward for the best diagnosis, management, and treatment. The following 10 wearable technologies are widely adopted in healthcare.
1. Apple Watch
It is a unique piece of technology that offers several unique features. Produced by Apple Inc., this smart-watch has many health-focused capabilities besides fitness tracking. The watch also has an ECG App and a fall detection system for seniors over 65. It operates in combination with the wearer’s iPhone and can also get connected to Wi-Fi for some tasks.
2. Fitbit Trackers
These reveal insights about health and heart. It is also great to understand activities and boosting up workouts. Features like auto sleep tracking and female health tracking are also available. This looks like a band with attractive watch-type straps and gives everything on the wrist. It is compatible with iPhone and Android.
3. Google Fit
This lets you have immediate insights with real-time statistics while you workout. It works with androids and Google smart-watches to record your heart rate, speed, etc. Using this one can monitor the goal so that you have continuous progress.
This is a digital camera that can be embedded in the apparel or one may wear it around the neck. It includes a 5- megapixel sensor and a wide lens. It keeps visual records of wherever the wearer has been and can also suggest when to take a snap. This is great for patients having memory function problems and Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Google Smart Contact Lenses
This is developed by Google by partnering with Novartis, a pharmaceutical company, for the diabetic populace wearing glasses. It can measure the level of glucose in the tears of the wearer and transfer the information wirelessly to smart-phones. Other than the diabetic patients, this will also be a great help for persons having age-related vision loss.
6. AliveCor heart monitor
This is an ECG system included in a smart-phone. It attaches to the case and can hardly be noticed by anyone. Taking continuous heart records, this exposes the wearer to a vast amount of data that helps to prevent serious illness.
7. Xiaomi Mi-band
Coming in the shape and design of a bracelet, this can be worn on hands, ankle and even on the neck. The band contains the tracker that comes with a hypoallergenic band having anti-UV and anti-microbial properties. The band includes many features like counting burnt calories; distances traversed, and sleep quality.
8. Garmin Smart-watches
These are great for health and fitness tracking of adults and children as well. It does all day health monitoring by keeping records of steps, distance covered, burnt calories, etc. Coming in attractive models these add to the fashion quotient.
9. AVA Bracelets
This women’s app lets one know the fertile window in real-time. This is meant for wearing in the night. Other than recoding fertility and pregnancy, it also keeps track of your sleep, stress and resting heart rate. Just synchronize the bracelet with the App in the morning and you will have instant results.
10. Owlet Baby Monitor
These are great to track heart rate and oxygen levels of the babies. Working with smart-phones and mobile apps it provides weekly progress report of the babies. Their wearable band for pregnant women gives a lot of neonatal wellness reports including heart rate recording, automatic kick counting, contraction tracking, etc.
What to consider while buying a health focused wearable technology?
Only buying a wearable technology does not solve any problem or save from any situation. One has to make certain considerations for that. While you get the real information on the status of your health, you must resolve to take control of your health, motivate yourself for healthy living and prevention.
There are wide ranges of wearable technologies that will give you all sorts of data. They entail problems of generating a high volume of data that is not exactly required and can hardly be managed. Thus, it is a mere waste of time and money.
You must set a few realistic and achievable goals that suit your lifestyle. Other than buying advanced technologies, you should opt for simple technology and apps that support your goal.