We are now able to monitor our own health in many ways thanks to the growth of wearable medical devices in healthcare. Smart contact lenses may help the visually handicapped see, and sensors can warn diabetic patients when their blood sugar is about to drop. Although these technologies could be modest, their effects might be enormous. Find out which professions are leading the way in the medical technology revolution as you read on to learn about the best wearable technologies in healthcare.
What is Healthcare Wearable Technology?
A wearable medical device refers to any electronic or non-electronic remote patient monitoring device that is intended to be worn on the user’s body. These gadgets may come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including jewelry, accessories, medical equipment, and clothes or clothing-related items. Although the phrase “wearable computing” suggests communications or processing power, certain wearables may really be rather sophisticated.
The most advanced wearable healthcare technology includes holographic computers in the form of virtual reality (VR) headsets, Google Glass, Microsoft’s HoloLens, and artificial intelligence (AI) hearing aids. Uncomplicated wearable healthcare technology includes a disposable skin patch with sensors that wirelessly transmits patient data to a control unit at a healthcare facility.
How Does Wearable Healthcare Technology Work?
Smartwatches, activity trackers like the Fitbit Charge, VR headsets, smart jewelry, web-enabled eyewear, and Bluetooth headsets are just a few examples of the wide range of usable modern wearable technology.
Depending on the area they fall under – such as health, exercise, or entertainment – wearables function differently. The main components of wearable technology are microprocessors, batteries, and internet connection. This allows the acquired data to be synchronized with other gadgets, including computers or mobile devices.
Wearables have sensors incorporated into them that monitor physical motions, provide biometric identification, or help with location monitoring. For instance, the most popular forms of wearables, activity trackers or smartwatches, have straps that go around the user’s wrist and track their daily activities or vitals.
Some wearables work without coming into touch with the user physically, even though the majority are either worn on the body or linked to clothes. Users’ movements may still be tracked via cell phones, smart tags, or computers.
Top Wearable Technologies in Healthcare
The introduction of wearable technology in healthcare provides treatments for a variety of conditions, such as physical impairments, hearing loss, and vision loss. The area is vast, ranging from the exoskeleton technology that has a science-fiction vibe to the widespread use of smartwatches. The most popular wearable medical devices currently being utilized in healthcare are listed below.
With the use of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensors, people with type 1 diabetes may continuously monitor their blood sugar levels and make necessary adjustments. Additionally, patients undergoing intense insulin treatment, hypoglycemic blindness, or high or low blood sugar levels might benefit from these sensors.
CGM sensors are placed under the skin, often on the arm or the stomach. Their wireless transmitters broadcast data to an external monitor, where medical personnel utilizes the information to change patients’ drug regimens. Professionals in software development, medicine, community health, and public health may work with this population and these technologies.
Electrocardiogram (ECG) wearable technology for healthcare has snuck into commercial applications as smartwatches and other wearable devices have evolved from innovative toys to commonly used health and fitness aids. ECG is a procedure of the highest quality used in medicine to gauge cardiac activity and spot any possible anomalies.
This information is gathered for primary care physicians and cardiologists as well as for personal education in terms of health. Products using ECG sensors may detect atrial fibrillation (Afib) symptoms and identify health issues that often go unreported. Fitness and sports training, as well as careers in nursing, sports medicine, and applied health sciences, may all benefit from ECG monitoring.
Digital Skin Patches
Electronic skin patches are regarded as the newest kind of medical wearable device. Wireless transmitters included within the sensors in the patches provide physicians with constant remote access to data. Electronic skin patches are utilized for motion detection, medicine delivery, wound care, and vital sign monitoring.
The versatility of electronic skin patches among healthcare practitioners makes them a useful wearable technology. The fields of applied health sciences, health informatics, pharmaceuticals, and kinesiology all provide academic opportunities for working with these devices.
Hydration and Sweat Sensors
In order to assist athletes, military personnel, and manual workers comprehend when they are exhausted, how much they are shedding, and how much drink they need to be healthy, hydration and sweat sensors detect hydration levels. Directly attached sweat and hydration sensors display real-time information that may be relayed to a smartphone or comparable device.
Hydration sensors may be used by medical practitioners to keep an eye on individuals who are prone to dehydration or who have problems with their adrenal glands. These sensors will likely be used by people in biosciences, software development, and sports medicine.
Medical personnel may use photoplethysmography (PPG) to non-invasively measure the amount of blood flowing to the heart. The gadget monitors blood flow and helps to explain heart rate variations by using a light sensor. PPG sensors are portable and provide information while users are moving, unlike bulky ECG sensors, which may be cumbersome.
PPG sensors are used by medical practitioners to track patients suffering from hypertension, congestive cardiac failure, and other conditions that affect blood flow irregularly. There are jobs in application development, pharmacy, and practical health sciences that can be done with this technology.
Pregnancy and Newborn Monitors
Wearable technology assists in real-time issue detection for both babies and pregnant people. Newborn monitors linked to a foot or ankle measure breathing, sleep, and movement and give real-time data, while pregnancy monitors offer 24/7 information about a baby’s heartbeat and movements.
These monitors are used by medical experts including OBGYNs, neonatal nurses, and pediatricians to save unnecessary stillbirths and injuries. This kind of technology is used by those in the obstetrics, nursing, and software development fields.
Eye trackers, smart spectacles, virtual reality, and augmented reality all have the potential to help those who are blind or visually impaired. These gadgets may change your life, whether they help you restore your eyesight or provide magnification, color contrast, or voice-activated instructions.
These are used by healthcare providers to enhance patients’ quality of life throughout their lifespans. Careers using this technology may be found in the fields of computer design, physics, community health, optometry, and health sciences.
By offering undergarments, clothes, and footwear with sensors integrated, smart clothing has the potential to change healthcare. These sensors monitor a variety of biometric information, such as vital signs, heart monitoring, stress levels, and even indicators that may be used to improve healthcare prevention.
Healthcare professionals may acquire crucial information to make early diagnoses and eventually minimize fatalities brought on by late discovery as more wearable smart gear becomes accessible. Work with this wearable technology for healthcare may be facilitated by degrees in fiber science, garment design, programming, and health informatics.
Smart Contact Lenses
There are several uses for smart contact lenses for those who suffer visual loss or disability. Images are enlarged using augmented reality devices and projected onto a smartphone for improved viewing. Other functions include delivering medication, monitoring glucose levels, and assisting with light sensitivity.
Optometrists employ smart contact lenses to monitor eye health and spot eye problems sooner in addition to helping patients see better. Smart contact lens work is probably something that optometrists, bioscientists, and nurses will do.
Each version of the smartwatch seems to include a new mechanism for tracking your health. Heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, ECG sensors, stress management, and blood oxygen readings are common services offered by modern technology.
By allowing for the direct transmission of health data to doctors and early identification of potentially concerning symptoms, smartwatches benefit both healthcare professionals and their patients. Working with these tools is probably a part of careers in nursing, computer programming, and medicine.
Fitness and Sports Trackers
Since Fitbit was created in 2007, fitness trackers have grown more prevalent. Although Fitbit made these trackers popular, firms like Garmin, Samsung, and Whoop all offer technologies that can measure blood-oxygen levels, track stress and respiration and monitor heart rate.
Although fitness trackers encourage more exercise and better sleep to improve better overall health, smartwatches do feature some fitness monitoring functionality. Long battery life, high-quality software, and fashionable designs are features of the greatest gadgets. These items have several applications in the fields of physical therapy, cardiology, and sports medicine.
The Bottom Line
It is not surprising that wearable medical device is finding its way into the healthcare industry and having a significant beneficial influence on patients’ lives as it becomes more prevalent in our daily lives. To someday achieve a future where everyone has a personal health monitor they can wear constantly so they can be more in charge of their own health is a goal worth pursuing.
Additionally, this would provide medical professionals like physicians and nurses a thorough picture of their patient’s health in real-time, enabling them to identify issues sooner and administer prompt and efficient treatment. We hope that Wapolabs’s “Wearable Medical Device: 11 Effective Assist in Healthcare” article has brought you all the information you want to know about wearable medical devices.