The conventional patient-doctor model is undergoing a drastic change. Technological innovations such as Wearable app development in Healthcare is bringing about the change in diagnosis and treatment, as well as patient monitoring. Wearable devices connected to the Internet of Things are transforming healthcare ecosystem at a phenomenal pace, creating a whole new world of digital medicine. Healthcare wearable app development is a rapidly growing area in emerging technologies.
Here are a few statistics that show the growth of wearables:
- “Tractica forecasts an increase of the wearables devices until 2021, with total shipments for all wearable devices to 560 million in 2021, which means an estimated device revenue of $95.3 billion in 2021” (wearable technologies)
- By 2021, Gartner estimates that sales of smartwatches will total nearly 81M units — representing 16% of total wearable device sales, according to its forecast (Techcrunch)
Such growth is attributed to several factors such as advancements in technologies and medical equipment, as well as proliferation of smartphones, followed by the healthcare mobile application development. Another reason is that people have become much more aware of their health and are willing to utilize wearables in their everyday lives.
Often worn as accessories or implantables on the body to collect data, wearables are user-centric. The industrial application in the field of wearable technology is already extensive.
Factors Leading to the Rise of Medical Wearables
- Increasing number of smart devices and connected world via IoT
- Increased awareness about health and well being
- Integration of sensors into consumer devices
- Ability to get timely medical support
- Interest and investment of tech giants such as Apple, Google and Microsoft
Wearable Medical Devices
Wearable health monitoring devices allow the creation of a unique branch of healthcare namely telehealth. This field involves “use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care.” The main benefit of telehealth is that the information about patient health conditions can be gathered anytime, anywhere outside the clinical settings, which saves time and most importantly lives.
More and more people use smartwatches and fitness trackers to monitor vitals and overall well-being, while patients are provided with devices to monitor and control diseases to take proactive steps to mitigate possible consequences.
Wearable devices in healthcare allow doctors to provide complete attention to each patient without spending much time. Wireless data transmission and alert mechanisms allow quick submission of notification to the hospital or your medical practitioner. This allows to initiate quick measures immediately in case of early symptoms.
Wearable technology in healthcare includes several devices that can be categorized into different sections mentioned below
Types of Wearables in Healthcare
- Body Sensors
- Wearable Patches
- Wrist Devices
- Heart Straps
- Posture Monitors
- Movement Sensors
- Wearable Defibrillator
- Smart Clothing
- Smart Glasses
- Wearable Camera
Based on the purpose, there are two subcategories
Monitoring and Diagnostic Devices
- Measure heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, glucose, sleep, fetal heart rate and the nervous system.
- Manage pain, assistance with rehabilitation, pump insulin or provide respiratory therapy.
Digital medicine is an efficient way to overcome the communication barrier between patients and doctors and enhance healthcare service delivery.
Increasing Range of Wearable Devices
Smartwatches and trackers on the wrist are getting the most attention of wearable app development. Some smart implants are gaining popularity, expanding the range of medical wearables to helps patients control their health and monitor fitness using helmets, hearing devices, smart glasses, smart clothing and footwear, skin patches, implantable sensors and more.
Currently, in order to improve the range of medical wearables the trend is to invent more devices for different parts of the body. In the future, a person will control health vital and monitor their fitness from tip to toe with a complete suite of wearable devices such as smart helmets, hearing aids, eyewear, smart clothing and footwear, fitness bands, implantable sensors and more.
Increasing Sophistication of Wearable Devices
First generation of wearables were bulky and difficult to use. This discouraged consumers from using wearables. However, wearables now are getting smaller and highly advanced. Many wearables are designed such that they can be used as accessories and on different parts of the body making wearable either fashionable or undetectable. Wearables have turned out to be so tiny that they are almost invisible under your clothes or even on your body.
The main goal of this trend is to make devices more compact and lightweight, and consequently agile and affordable for every person. The relatively smaller devices are, the more likely people will engage.
Paradigm Shift to Preventive Approach
This is especially true in healthcare. Wearables completely changes the perspective of medicine from reactive (for a patient already sick and requires treatment) to preventive (for a patient who is healthy and needs to take measures to avoid falling sick). This approach can significantly reduce healthcare costs and increase the quality of life and overall well being.
Healthcare Technology: A Futuristic Approach
Wearables play a crucial role in preventing diseases as well as monitoring. The focus is towards providing real-time feedback and helping with rehabilitation and assisting in adhering to a fitness plan.