The Essence of Wearable Technology in Healthcare
healthcaretechoutlook

The Essence of Wearable Technology in Healthcare

Healthcare Tech Outlook | Thursday, March 04, 2021

Wearable technology like smart gloves assists people who have lost control of their hands (after a stroke) in regaining movement by repeating hand and arm movements.

FREMONT, CA: The Wearable Internet of Things (WIoT) in healthcare is a network of patient-worn smart devices (for example, electronic skin patches, ECG monitors, and so on.) with sensors, actuators, and software connected to the cloud that allows for real-time collection, analysis, and transmission of personal health data.

There has been a boom in consumer interest in wearables since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 54 percent of U.S. individuals adopting digital wearable technology to measure at least one health parameter (heart rate, temperature) in 2020 up from 42 percent in 2019.

When living conditions return to some degree of pre-pandemic normalcy, the pandemic-driven wearable technology boom may be difficult to sustain. Nonetheless, by 2022, the number of people using health and fitness applications is predicted to increase.

Health Monitoring Devices

A smart skin patch is a popular example of a smart wearable technology device for health monitoring. They are thin adhesive patches with electronic components (such as sensors and actuators with proper processing, energy storage, and communication) that collect a patient's vitals (such as heart rate, body temperature, and others) and send them to apps for doctors and patients.

A transportable ECG monitor is another example of wearable technology. This device uses a wireless electrode that can be placed to a patient's chest or finger to capture their electrocardiogram. The ECG data is then transferred to the cloud for processing before being delivered to a clinician and a patient-facing app.

Therapeutic Devices

Therapeutic devices, unlike health monitoring devices, allow real-time monitoring of patient metrics directly connected to illness recovery, disease therapy, and therapy delivery. Pain management devices, insulin pumps, rehabilitation devices, and respiratory therapy devices are the most common types of these devices.

For example, wearable technology like smart gloves assists people who have lost control of their hands (after a stroke) in regaining movement by repeating hand and arm movements. Gloves with built-in sensors monitor and measure patients' motions during rehabilitation sessions, then send the data to the cloud for analysis. 

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