As wearable technology has gained more traction in our day-to-day lives, it has also forayed and extended its growth into the healthcare sector.
What started out as a simple, life-style device has evolved into innovative break-throughs that could shape the future of the health management industry. The data from wearable technology offer health professionals insights into a patient’s well-being that can be used to provide better care in a personalised way.
Data as basic as the number of steps you have taken to as complex as how well your lungs are working can be accessed through wearable devices. You can easily check your blood pressure by glancing at the display and for further review, it syncs this data to your smartphone, so you can view it anytime, anywhere with the analysis of associated life-style habits.
The device can provide valuable recommendations such as what food to consume if blood sugar levels fall. In addition, these devices can also measure levels of brain activity, body temperature and hydration.
This technology has made living with diabetes not so dreaded as it used to be. There are glucose monitors available that one can carry in a tiny case and an insulin pump that is attached to the person at all times.
The devices provide its wearer with regular health updates and contain historical data. It also helps to make quick decisions by giving timely feedback thereby being in control over the situation.
Wearable devices don’t just identify the problem and provide suggestions, but they also are poised to play a key role in offering solutions.
For example, Valedo, one of the health-oriented wearables available in the market, is a pair of wearables that come as a relief to those who have issues related to lower back health. It makes use of an accelerometer, a gyro meter and a magnetometer to capture your motion across a 3D plane and then suggests 45 different exercise options through its interactive interface depending on your health condition and requirement.
Wearables are now being modified by engineers to incorporate algorithms that analyse more biometric data.
Google Glass – the smart eyewear, helps surgeons to perform surgery with more precision by having the CT and X-ray images directly in their field. This helps the surgeon to devote their full attention to the patient and not have to worry about leaving the room for getting the X-ray reports.
It has also become easier to monitor a patient’s vital signs minute-by-minute as opposed to the four-hour check which is usually done at the hospitals.
BioPatch is a smart device that notifies any adverse signs or symptoms found in the body and alerts the nurse via smartphones thus helping them efficiently prioritize their time.
Wearable technology also has the potential to save you from occasional trips to the hospital by transmitting the necessary health related data to the doctor via wireless devices thus revolutionizing the doctor-patient interaction and improving the comfort of the patient.
How readily and to what extent this is taken advantage of remains to be seen.