September 13, 2023

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Ifrah Khan

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Healthcare is centered around providing the best care to patients. Whether you're a doctor, nurse, medical researcher, or just someone who's curious about new gadgets, we're all on a never-ending quest to make healthcare better. And guess what? There's a cool technology in town that's helping us do just that - wearable technology.

Think of wearables as super-smart accessories you can wear, like a smart watch or a fitness tracker. But they're not just about looking cool; they're changing the game in healthcare

Stick with us, and we'll show you how these gadgets are tackling some of our toughest healthcare challenges and making our future healthier.

Let's begin with the basics.

What is Wearable Technology in Healthcare?

Wearable technology in healthcare refers to the use of wearable devices as well as software applications for medical and healthcare purposes. This includes wearable medical devices like smartwatches, fitness trackers, smart health watches, wearable ECG monitors, wearable BP trackers, biosensors, etc.

  • The global wearable medical device market size is poised to reach $30.1 B by 2026 at a CAGR of 13.2% which was valued at $16.2 B in 2021. (MarketsandMarkets report).
  • 63% of people in the US are wearable device owners who use fitness trackers and smartwatches. (Source)
wearable-healthcare-technology-market

10 Examples of Wearable Technology in Healthcare

Certainly, here are examples of wearable technology in healthcare and how they can benefit your healthcare business:

examples-of-wearable-technology-in-healthcare

Fitness Trackers

Examples: Fitbit, My Fitness Pal

Let’s start with the good old fitness trackers.  They're like your health buddies. They help you keep an eye on your health like your heart and pulse rate.

But they do more than that! They also help you keep track of how much you move around during the day, like how many steps you take. And when you go to bed, they peek into your sleep to see how well you're resting. They can even tell you how many calories you burn.

These little gadgets have special sensors inside them, and they're best friends with your smartphone. Thanks to clever healthcare app developers, you can easily check all this health info on your phone through smart healthcare solutions. Most likely, you’re one of those who benefit from such apps daily.

How Does it Benefit You?

Data-Driven Insights: Health data from fitness trackers can help healthcare business owners track patient progress and make better treatment decisions.

Patient Engagement: Using fitness trackers can boost patient involvement as they can monitor their health easily and share data with healthcare providers, improving treatment and outcomes.

Preventive Care & Cost Savings: Encouraging fitness tracker use can help detect health issues early, reducing expensive treatments and hospital stays, and ultimately saving costs in the long term.

Smartwatches

Examples: Garmin, WearHealth

Smartwatches have been around in the world of gadgets for a while now. However, they started to deliver real value related to healthcare only recently. Besides being handy for calls, messages, and voice commands, these little gadgets can now give you some pretty cool info about your physical activity, and stress levels, and even keep an eye on your heart for any unusual patterns.

This is possible due to new advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), semiconductors, optical sensors, and data science technologies. All of them laid the foundation for photoplethysmography or PPG, a way to measure changes in blood circulation.

For instance, it can be used for remote patient monitoring to detect heart disease.

How Does it Benefit You?

Remote Patient Monitoring: Utilize smartwatches to remotely monitor patients' health, particularly for early detection of heart diseases and irregularities.

Enhanced Patient Engagement: Encourage patients to use smartwatches to actively engage in monitoring their physical activity and stress levels, fostering proactive health management.

Incorporate Advanced Technology: Embrace AI, optical sensors, and data science advancements to leverage the potential of smartwatches in providing valuable health insights and improving patient care.

Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs)

Examples: Nutrisense, Dexcom G6

Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) have become really helpful for diabetic patients. These small, painless sensors check your blood sugar levels. No more painful finger pricks; CGMs do the work for you.

How Does it Benefit You?

Improved Care: CGMs provide real-time data, enabling tailored treatment adjustments for better patient outcomes.

Less Invasive: CGMs eliminate finger pricks, making monitoring comfortable and reliable, improving patient compliance.

Time and Cost Efficiency: Streamlined monitoring saves healthcare providers time, reducing administrative burdens and potentially cutting costs.

Wearable ECG Monitors

Examples: SonoHealth, Kardia

Almost one in three Americans uses a wearable device to monitor their heart health. This makes the future of ECG monitors look very promising. This healthcare device empowered by wearable technology supports cardiovascular patient care and is used to diagnose common arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation (AF).

Thanks to advanced machine learning, today's ECG monitors don't just measure electrocardiograms but can also detect any abnormalities that occur. The data can be shared with a healthcare physician for in-depth analysis and diagnosis of asymptomatic or symptomatic AF.

How Does it Benefit You?

Personalized Health Plans: Use the data from wearable ECG monitors to create personalized health plans for patients, tailoring treatments and recommendations based on individual heart health trends.

Telemedicine Expansion: Integrate wearable ECG data into telemedicine services, allowing healthcare providers to offer remote ECG consultations and expand their reach to patients in remote areas.

Health Research Collaborations: Collaborate with research institutions to anonymize and aggregate wearable ECG data, contributing to larger studies and gaining insights into population-level heart health trends.

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Wearable Blood Pressure Monitors

Examples: SmartBP, Instant Heart Rate

Integrating wearable blood pressure monitors into your care plans can help you monitor and manage hypertension more effectively. You can use these devices to track patients' blood pressure over time, making medication treatment as needed and preventing severe complications.

How Does it Benefit You?

Occupational Health Programs: Implement wearable blood pressure monitors as part of occupational health programs in workplaces. This unique approach can help businesses promote employee well-being, identify stress-related issues, and enhance workplace safety.

Postoperative Monitoring: Utilize wearable blood pressure monitors for postoperative care. This can provide continuous monitoring for patients recovering from surgeries, therefore, ensuring early detection of any potential complications and reducing readmission rates.

Senior Care Facilities: Integrate wearable blood pressure monitors into senior care facilities to enhance elderly resident health. These devices can help staff monitor blood pressure trends in real time, aiding in the prevention of conditions like falls and strokes among the elderly population.

Wearable Sleep Monitors

Examples: BetterSleep, Sleep Cycle

Wearable sleep monitors are increasingly used to track and analyze sleep patterns. Their popularity is driven by a growing awareness of the importance of sleep for overall health and well-being. People are turning to these monitors to better understand their sleep habits and make improvements for better sleep.

How Does it Benefit You?

Chronic Condition Management: Use sleep monitors to assist in treating patients with conditions like sleep apnea or insomnia.

Rehabilitation Programs: Employ sleep monitors in rehab to aid recovery planning and ensure adequate rest.

Shift Worker Health: Monitor the sleep of shift workers for better scheduling and health management.

Smart Clothing

Examples: Nadi X yoga pants, Trucker Jacket

When we talk about wearables, the first things that come to mind are usually smartwatches, fitness trackers, and heart rate monitors worn on the wrist. But the world of wearables is much broader than that. It spans across various emerging markets in different industries.

One of these emerging markets is smart clothing for healthcare. Imagine electronics woven into your shirt, blanket, bandage, cap, or pants, all designed to enhance patient care.

How Does it Benefit You?

Enhance Physical Therapy: Use smart clothing with sensors for better tracking and feedback in physical therapy.

Elderly Care Monitoring: Employ smart clothing to monitor elderly residents in care facilities, ensuring their safety.

Clinical Research: Utilize smart clothing in clinical trials and research to gather precise physiological data for more accurate assessments.

Pain Management Devices

Examples: ReLeaf, Curable

Wearable pain relief devices are becoming more popular for pain relief. These small wearables in healthcare can provide treatments like gentle electrical pulses or heat therapy right where it hurts. People use them because they offer drug-free ways to ease pain without surgery. So, more and more people are using these devices to feel better when they're dealing with pain.

How Does it Benefit You?

Better Patient Care: Improve patient outcomes by offering effective, non-pharmacological pain management options, increasing patient satisfaction and loyalty.

Reduced Medication Costs: Minimize reliance on expensive pain medications, resulting in cost savings for both healthcare providers and patients.

Competitive Advantage: Differentiate your healthcare business by incorporating innovative pain relief methods, attracting more patients.

Posture-Correcting Wearables

Examples: Upright GO 2, Gaiam Restore

Posture-correcting wearables are like friendly reminders to help you stand or sit up straight. They're small devices that you can wear, like a clip on your shirt or a band on your back. These gadgets are becoming more popular because many people spend a lot of time hunched over screens, which can lead to bad posture. 

These wearables gently nudge you to improve your posture by sending vibrations or alerts when you slouch. So, they're handy tools for those looking to maintain a healthier and more comfortable posture, especially in a world where we often find ourselves glued to screens.

How Does it Benefit You?

Prevent Musculoskeletal Issues: Use wearables to prevent posture-related problems and reduce the need for costly treatments.

Enhance Telemedicine: Integrate wearables into telehealth to remotely assess and correct patient posture during virtual consultations.

Occupational Health Programs: Offer wearables to companies to improve employee well-being and reduce workplace injuries.

Smart Glasses for Healthcare Professionals

Examples: Rokid Max, Magic Leap One

Wearable smart glasses are like super glasses for the future! They're not just for looking cool; they can show you digital information right in front of your eyes. People who are visually impaired can use them to read things or even get directions without needing to use their hands.

How Does it Benefit You?

Remote Consultations: Use smart glasses for remote medical consultations and surgeries.

Training and Education: Enhance healthcare training by offering hands-on experiences through smart glasses.

Assistive Devices: Provide real-time visual assistance to visually impaired patients, promoting independence and accessibility.

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6 Benefits of Wearable Technology in Healthcare

With the healthcare industry currently booming, facing a shortage of healthcare workers, and a constant demand for quality patient care, integrating wearable technology emerges as a promising solution.

Wearable healthcare technology is not just an option; it's a necessity. Here's why you need it right now:

benefits-of-wearable-technology-in-healthcare

Workforce Shortages

The shortage of healthcare workers has become a critical issue. To address this, we can utilize wearable technology. It simplifies tasks, cuts down on paperwork, and allows for remote monitoring. Thus, this helps your current staff to be more efficient and effective.

Enhanced Patient Care

Patients today expect more from their healthcare providers. They want personalized care, continuous monitoring, and active engagement in their health journeys. Wearable healthcare technology helps you to deliver precisely that. It enables real-time patient monitoring, and data-driven decision-making, all while improving patient satisfaction.

Telemedicine Growth

Telemedicine is no longer a luxury; it's a necessity. With remote consultations becoming the norm, wearable technology in healthcare ensures that your virtual appointments are as effective as in-person ones. Access to wearable-generated health data during telehealth visits allows for informed decisions, even when the provider and patient are miles apart.

As the demand for telemedicine grows, it's essential to recognize the various types of telemedicine, including synchronous (real-time communication) and asynchronous (store-and-forward) methods, each catering to different healthcare needs and scenarios.

Chronic Disease Management

Chronic diseases are on the rise, and managing them effectively is a concern. Wearable healthcare technology makes it easier for patients to track their health daily, while healthcare providers can set up alerts to know if something is not right.

Research and Innovation

The answers to tomorrow's healthcare challenges lie in the data we collect today.

Wearables provide valuable health data for medical research and innovation. Hence, this leads to better care for patients and the development of new and improved medical solutions.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Another significant benefit of wearable technology in healthcare is its ability to support data-driven decision-making. These devices gather data about patients' health and activities, providing healthcare providers with valuable information to make informed decisions regarding patient care and treatment plans

8 Wearable Devices in Healthcare Making a Difference

Let’s know about some of the real-life wearable devices that are making a huge impact in healthcare:-

Apple's Smartwatch

Apple-watch-wearable-technology-in-healthcare

Apple's smartwatch has been a game-changer in the wearable medical device industry. It not only serves as a fitness tracker but also includes features like an ECG (electrocardiogram) monitor and fall detection. This device is saving lives by detecting irregular heartbeats and promptly alerting users to seek medical attention.

LibreSense

LibreSense-wearable-technology-in-healthcare

LibreSense is a wearable technology developed by Abbott, designed for people with diabetes. This device continuously monitors glucose levels through a small sensor placed on the skin, eliminating the need for frequent finger stick checks. It has greatly improved the quality of life for diabetic patients.

My Skin Track UV 

My-Skin-Track-UV

Developed by L'Oréal in partnership with Apple, My Skin Track UV is a small wearable device that measures UV exposure and provides personalized sun protection recommendations. It helps users protect their skin from harmful UV rays and reduce the risk of skin damage and cancer.

Ava bracelet

Ava-bracelet-wearable-technology-in-healthcare

The Ava bracelet is a fertility-tracking wearable designed for women trying to conceive. It monitors various physiological parameters during sleep, helping users pinpoint their fertile days accurately. Many couples have successfully used Ava to help in family planning.

KardiaMobile

KardiaMobile-wearable-technology-in-healthcare

KardiaMobile, created by AliveCor, is a portable ECG monitor that attaches to a smartphone. Users can record their ECG anytime, anywhere, as well as share the data with their healthcare providers. It has been useful in the early detection of heart conditions like arrhythmias.

Motiv Ring

Motiv-Ring-wearable-technology-in-healthcare

The Motiv Ring is a sleek fitness, and sleep tracker that fits on your finger. It provides insights into physical activity, heart rate, and sleep patterns. Moreover, Its simple design has encouraged more people to adopt a healthier lifestyle by paying closer attention to their daily activities.

Withings Wearable Trackers

Withings-Wearable-Trackers

Withings offers a range of wearable health devices, including fitness trackers and smartwatches. These devices monitor activities, sleep as well as heart rate, and more. Withings has helped people make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

Silvertree Reach

Silvertree-Reach

Silvertree Reach is a wearable device designed for senior adults. It offers fall detection, GPS tracking, and communication features. This device has provided peace of mind to families by ensuring the safety and well-being of their elderly loved ones, especially when they live alone.

Is Your Business Ready to Leverage Wearable Technology in Healthcare Yet? 

Globally, more than 325 million people have medical devices, and more than 2.5 billion have smartphones. While wearable health devices offer immense benefits, there are also challenges you need to take into consideration.

If you want to keep up with the market demand and leverage the benefits of wearables in healthcare, don’t postpone initiating your project.

Narola Infotech is an expert in providing custom healthcare software development services. Contact us and let us build a perfect solution together!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

See the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions below.

Wearable medical devices are portable gadgets that individuals can wear to monitor various aspects of their health, such as heart rate, activity levels, and sleep patterns.

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