How Wearables Can Help You Become More Aware of Health Issues
By Sherry Sweet
Health monitoring “wearables” are quickly becoming more popular as people begin to discover their many benefits. With the ability to track anything from heart rate to possible concussions, many individuals that use these wearable devices are considering themselves more in tune with their health and well-being. With the constant improvements and breakthroughs in these wearable devices, they have graduated from being a trend to an important innovation in modern healthcare.
With wearable fitness trackers becoming increasingly more popular over the past couple of years, companies such as Fitbit and Google are beginning to invest in the growing study of wearable fitness tracking and developing their own monitoring software.
According to HitConsultant, the future of wearable fitness trackers is full of opportunity, since these companies have merely scratched the surface of its potential. With so much potential at stake for this healthcare innovation, how is it possible for companies to decide which aspects of fitness and personal health are to be highlighted in their trackers, and which to subside?
In the healthcare tab of Information Week, author Kelly Sheridan reviews ten types of wearable healthcare devices and discusses what each of the devices is able to track. The models listed in this article are not the “big”, name-brand models, but are ones that provide aide and information regarding temperature, chronic pain, and even breathing patterns. The big name in wearable health-monitoring devices, Fitbit, was not on the list, but should not go without recognition. Fitbit provides an array of devices that cover different aspects of health and fitness.
All models include a step-tracking monitor, as well as a monitor that shows the length of time that the user was active, per heartrate monitoring measures. The more advanced models include sleep tracking (including restlessness and awake periods), heart rate monitoring, and are even able to record the user’s stair climbing records. There is also the GymWatch, which is specifically for use during exercise, which tracks the form and duration of its user performing physical exercise tasks such as weight lifting or aerobic exercises.
These wearable fitness devices are not only for use in the gym and other physical activity, but they are also beginning to play an instrumental part in tracking medical conditions as well. In fact medical monitoring, not fitness, is likely to be the future of health wearables with places like George Clinical leading the way.
In an article by Small Biz Trends, several wearable trackers are reviewed that help both patients and healthcare providers track medical issues such as concussions, cardiovascular monitoring, hypoglycemia predictions, and even reminders to take medications for preexisting conditions.
These trackers are not only worn on the wrist, like many popular models, but can be found on other parts of the body such as the Medrtonic sensor, which is placed on the user’s abdomen to help predict issues with hypoglycemia. Some, however, are not placed on the body, such as the Veta, which is a case that holds a user’s EpiPen and connects the data to a smartphone app that can be shared between the patient, their healthcare professional, and their family.
While this innovation is exciting for those who want to track fitness goals or health issues, it is important to keep in mind that these tracking devices should never replace the consultation and visitation to professional healthcare providers; they are only used to provide real-time information for health issues that can be used to prevent a variety of early-onset issues in the future.