10 Brilliant Examples of Wearables in Healthcare
A survey by Accenture states that the usage of wearables by consumers has nearly quadrupled in the four years (2014-2018), from just 9% in 2014 to 33% in 2018. This can be attributed to the fact that these sophisticated, smart gadgets of the future have come a long way from their inception.
Powered by ultra-modern technologies such as Big Data, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, and Artificial Intelligence, in the next 25 years, wearable technology can lead to the global cost savings of about $200 billion in the healthcare domain.
Multiple features and functionalities of wearables include remote patient monitoring, tracking and collecting data, enhancing everyday health and lifestyle patterns, detecting chronic conditions, among others. Overall, these can be wonderful aids for medical professionals as well as individuals because of their accuracy and ease of use.
That said, here are some of the top wearables in healthcare that have caught our eye:
Tracking period cycles can give better insights about women’s health, and that is what AVA is all about. The night-only wearable gives women insights into their fertility, pregnancy, as well as their overall health. For pregnant women, it helps track weight, sleep, and stress levels. The wearable is known for its accuracy with a clinical study at the University Hospital of Zurich, stating that the device identified “an average of 5.3 fertile days per cycle with an accuracy of 89 percent.”
AliveCor’s Personal EKG is a portable device that can easily slip into the pockets and save lives! The FDA-cleared device takes medical-grade EKG recordings (detect Atrial Fibrillation, Bradycardia, Tachycardia or Normal heart rhythm) in just 30 seconds and delivers it to a smartphone. This data can be tracked over time and can be shared with medical professionals for instant review. The users just need to put their fingers on the sensors and get the information within seconds. No more messy wires, patches or gels! The firm announced a partnership with Huami smartwatches, which will make this supremely intelligent heart-healthcare platform a feature of the wearables in the future.
Thermometers are passé. TempTraq beats them by monitoring the temperature of babies and children during an illness with no interruptions while they rest. It includes a Bluetooth sensor, which is available as a soft patch. Unlike traditional thermometers, the patch can be easily placed under the child’s arm and helps parents keep a watch without having to take the temperature at different intervals in a day/night. The wearable is highly accurate and measures temperatures between 87.0 and 109.3°F. Moreover, it has been tested to meet the ASTM E1112-00 standard, something that is required for all the clinical digital thermometers.
BioScarf is a trendy alternative to the regular air pollution masks. These are handy not just for patients, but for individuals who want to protect themselves from potential respiratory health issues. A built-in N95 filter in the scarf helps strain over 99.75% of the airborne pollutants. For instance, it can keep away pet dander, pollen, smoke, pm2.5 and other contaminants that can keep strep, influenza, pneumonia, and tuberculosis at bay. This one-time purchase is any day better than buying several masks and using them.
Blinq wearable rings are a combination of class and function. The Montreal-based startup offers several styles with notifications with LED lights, a fitness tracking option, and an SOS distress feature (the SOS alert can be posted on Facebook). The ‘smart ring’ is a great alternative to comparatively bulky smartwatches and also falls within the limits of fine jewelry, making it appear aesthetic. The wearable is water-resistant, works with more than 150 of Android/iOS apps, has a battery life of up to 48 hours, and comes in various sizes.
Philips SmartSleep is a wearable soft headband with sensors, that helps individuals identify their sleep needs and offers clinically proven solutions. The wearable is a sleep analyzer that works wonders for people who want to improve their sleep. Ergo, it helps people who don’t get enough sleep or sleep too late/early by monitoring their sleep cycles. The comfortable wearable is also capable of producing audio tones that can help improve the depth and duration of REM sleep. A connected app with the wearable helps log the metrics related to sleep, along with offering guidance and tips for a good night’s rest. This makes it a must-have healthcare device for many.
Bio-Patches are the latest, non-invasive wearables that can help medical professionals monitor and measure the patients’ heart rate, ECG, heart rate variability, respiration rate, and activity. One particular wearable of this kind by SEER can be easily attached to the left side of the chest. Post this, it uses a multi-sensing algorithm to calculate the vital signs. It is then transmitted to the cloud for the use of clinical pathologists who can then read and analyze it on the go.
The global Smart Eyewear Technology market is estimated to at about USD 5,847 million in 2018. This number is expected to grow up to USD 123, 124 million approximately by 2027.
While there is a lot to be done in the sector, a Netherlands-based firm is taking giant strides. 1Minuut Innovation is planning to launch an all-in-one mobile health communication platform and make most of the augmented reality eyewear for POV video sharing. Once this wearable is ready, we can see some massive changes being made in telehealth. The platform called will integrate with Vuzix’s Smart Glasses and help the providers send secure videos and communicate with other specialists remotely.
Ever since their inception, hearing aids have come a long way. Today, they are available as ‘smart hearing aids’, loaded with the best sensor technologies. Starkey Hearing Technologies is setting an example in this direction by creating such futuristic wearables and these are not just for those with hearing difficulties. The firm launched a product called Livio AI, which can selectively filter noise and focuses on some very specific sources of sound. The hearing aid can also help bring relief to patients suffering from ringing in the ears. The sensors and AI fit in the wearable makes it possible to keep a track of some important health metrics like physical activities and are built to measure heart rate in the future.
Remote patient monitoring is on the top of the priority list for healthcare organizations. It helps them cut downtime and costs. It is now a reality with some wearables that take the burden off the medical professionals. For instance, Leaf Healthcare offers a unique solution by offering wireless patient monitoring technology. The solution is called the Leaf Patient Monitoring System and can wirelessly monitor the patients’ position and movement. This helps prevent many pressure-related injuries and assists caregivers to enhance the safety of their patients and the outcomes. Their website has some impressive statistics, including a 79% reduction in specialty rental beds. That is a win-win situation for the healthcare facilities!
Wearables in Healthcare Are Here to Stay
Wearables are contributing in a major way to disease prevention, detection, and taking precautionary measures. As technology and healthcare advance, they will become more sophisticated with enhanced data security and privacy.
With the advent of IoT, they will gradually reduce human intervention and automate several core healthcare processes. This provides satisfactory results for individuals as well as healthcare organizations. Which of these wearables do you think will be the torchbearer in futuristic healthcare? Let us know in the comments.