Author: Julia Beutel
Publication date: 12.02.2024
Definition of Wearable Technology
Wearable technology in healthcare refers to electronic devices specifically designed to be worn on the user’s body. In particular, its purpose is to gather fitness and health information which can be provided to doctors, health insurances or other relevant parties. These gadgets utilize biosensors to gather various information, including heart rate, blood pressure, sleep patterns, and activity. What's more, wearable technology comes in different shapes: ranging from jewelry and accessories to medical instruments and components of clothing. Let’s delve into it.
Examples of Wearable Technology
Smartwatches are probably the most widespread healthcare gadget. They can track your daily activities such as steps, calories, heart rate, and even ECG. Some examples for smartwatches are Apple Watch, Fitbit, or Garmin.
This includes smart rings and wristbands. Illustrated by brands like Oura, smart rings are worn on the finger just like traditional rings, while acquiring health-tracking information. These devices typically work with a smartphone app for display and interaction.
This type of clothing incorporates built-in technology with diverse functions, such as monitoring fitness or health metrics. Through increased contact with a larger surface of the body, smart clothing can offer more insights compared to other wearable technologies. In particular, smart clothing offers tracking for both medical purposes and lifestyle enhancements.
As an example, Siren's Diabetic Socks and Foot Monitoring System can be mentioned. It uses small sensors distributed across the fabric of the sock to measure the temperature of various areas on the foot. This collected data can identify ulcerations that frequently lead to amputations. So, the information can directly be transmitted to healthcare professionals for continuous monitoring.
Implantable devices establish contact with the user's body internally rather than externally on the skin. For example, the company Proteus developed sensor-equipped pills capable of monitoring blood pressure and other health metrics. Once swallowed by the patient, an external device could be worn to conveniently track the data generated from within the body. In the upcoming years, smart tattoos might emerge as an option for people to ensure they always have their monitoring devices with them.
Benefits of Wearable Technology
It’s important to stay informed about your health. Therefore, using a healthcare monitoring device can be a time-saving solution as it automatically tracks your information. Moreover, these gadgets are generally user-friendly and convenient. In fact, most wearable healthcare technologies can accurately measure parameters like heart rate, sleep patterns, and activity levels and store this data on phones or smartwatches. Even some companies have adopted wearable technology to encourage a healthy lifestyle among its employees and people working from home.
The Future of Wearable Technology in Healthcare
The future of wearable technology in healthcare looks very bright. With the use of advanced sensors and technology, engineers can offer users top-notch and highly accurate healthcare monitoring. Besides that, wearable tech has the capability to transform healthcare significantly by empowering patients to adopt a more proactive stance in managing their health and well-being. However, there is still a lot more to unfold as the future of healthcare technology is currently in its early phases.