Wearables in Healthcare
Wearables are definitely gaining popularity. iWatches, Fitbits, Google Glass, GoPros, and so many other wearables are used by 21% of Americans currently, and that number is bound to increase. We have primarily seen wearables as a tool for fitness tracking, but the healthcare industry is adapting wearables to improve patients’ experience in and out of the medical office.
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has found wearables to be handy tools throughout the facility. This article tells the story of Isabella, a child with Moyamoya disease, described as “a genetic disorder that causes the walls of the carotid arteries to thicken, restricting blood flow to the brain.” This disease’s effect on her blood flow has caused her to suffer several strokes and acquiring other disabilities as result. The article goes on to share this:
“Isabella is currently enrolled in a clinical trial to test one of these devices—it’s called surface electromyographic biofeedback, or sEMG. Electromyographic devices monitor the electrical current generated by muscle movement. This concept isn’t new, but Sanger—who designed the device, the software and the algorithm—improved upon the existing technology and optimized it for kids. He also included WiFi capability, enabling the data to be stored in the cloud for later analysis.”
Because of Isabella’s wearable, her health is able to be monitored better than before, and the possibilities for this technology is only going to improve as it becomes more widely used and innovated upon.
Wearables are expanding beyond smartwatches, and this expansion is creating more abilities to track and monitor your health beyond heart rate and steps taken. These devices can measure sleep tendencies, breathing patterns, body temperature, and so much more. For a more in depth look, this page shares the latest and greatest in healthcare wearables. Devices like contacts that monitor diabetes and knee braces that provide optimal pain relief using Bluetooth technology are listed amongst the numerous devices mentioned.
What does this mean for you? The future of medical technology is becoming brighter quickly, and can continue to make our lives more comfortable. This technology could easily be adapted for patients who are nearing the end of their hospital stays. Often, a patient will be kept under a doctor’s care as precaution. Using this technology, though, these patients may be able to leave earlier and be tracked from the comfort of their own home using a wearable device.
Wearables can also be used to more discreetly monitor a person’s health. For example, if a cardiologist recommends tracking a patient’s heart health, a clunky heart monitor is installed. This can be hard to conceal on a daily basis. Often times, to hide the fact that he or she is wearing a monitor, the patient wears loose-fitted clothing, but that doesn’t mean the patient is comfortable physically or with their appearance. The increase in innovation for wearables has the potential to create sleeker, more discreet monitors that would allow the patient to wear whatever he or she is most comfortable in without the noticeable protrusion that results from clunky devices being strapped to their bodies.
If you are a healthcare facility looking for technological improvements, Heart may be the answer you’ve been looking for! Call us at 877.494.3278 for more information.