Soon the days of people attending doctor visits and picking up prescriptions from a pharmacy may come to a halt. The reason? Wearable medical devices.
Medical technology, over the years, has exceeded the expectations of doctors and patients alike. A “Pulse Online Health” survey reported that “79% of U.S. consumers are willing to use such a device to improve their health.” With more people eager to get their hands on the most popular health care technology, the more the demand has grown.
Learn more about the best wearable medical devices and what the future holds for this healthcare technology type.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wearable Medical Devices
Wearable medical devices are under development day by day. Engineers strive to make these health care technologies accessible and improve their capabilities.
There is still much to understand on what and how we can use wearable medical devices.
Common questions consumers have had about wearable medical devices are:
How can health wearable devices help us? One of the benefits of wearable technology in healthcare is the close observations that providers can have on their patients. Not only doctors can closely monitor an at-risk patient, but also at-home caregivers such as nurses. Wearable medical devices have many features that can include location tracking, Bluetooth capabilities, and mobile functions such as calling.
What are examples of wearable medical devices? Health care technologies available to consumers are fitness trackers, ECG monitors, blood pressure monitors, biosensors, and sleep trackers. Some healthcare technologies are exclusive only through your provider. Speak to your doctor to explore your options.
How reliable is wearable medical technology? Wearable medical devices that track fitness and heart rate have proven to be reliable. There are products that can have malfunctions, though. In addition, malfunctions can vary depending on the manufacturer of the device.
What are three popular wearable medical devices? The most popular wearable medical devices are Apple watches, Fitbits, and ECG monitors. Research has indicated that the market has grown into the billions and has been projected to have immense growth for years to come.
Is data secured and private with these devices? Data security differs for every type of device. However, the Federal Drug Administration does require that specific security measures be taken. Consumers are strongly encouraged to stay updated with the latest security requirements on all their wearable healthcare technologies.
The Benefits of Wearable Health Technology
Wearable medical devices provide numerous amounts of benefits for patients and physicians. For example, doctors can track a patient’s progress with an ailment leading to a better treatment plan.
Some wearable medical devices can also tell a patient when they are at risk for suffering from an illness. This is possible due to the capability of wearable medical devices monitoring vital signs. For example, the instrument can detect an incoming illness when the skin temperature of a person’s heart rate has changed.
More and more patients have become actively engaged and proactive about improving their health with medical devices.
What is critical to keep in mind is that you should not rely only on a wearable medical device. Checking in with your doctor and running thorough examinations should still be included in your health care action plan.
Types of Wearable Medical Devices
Each wearable medical device that a person chooses or provided by a physician will rely on the goals and needs of the user. For example, one of the goals an individual purchases a wearable medical device may have is improving their health. Millions have agreed that this healthcare technology type has proven advantageous, whether for weight loss purposes or meeting daily water consumption goals.
Prevalent wearable medical devices include:
- Fitness trackers: Statistics have concluded that 36% of America is obese. That means that every three adults are overweight. Fitness trackers aid in monitoring exercise, sleep, and some come with a feature that alerts a person to move. Fitness trackers allow an individual to create their own workout plan. People can successfully see the progress of their weight with these kinds of health care technologies.
- ECG monitors: Suffering from an irregular heartbeat can be dangerous. The medical condition known as Arrthymia (irregular heartbeat) jeopardizes the heart’s blood flow and could lead to blood clots, strokes, and death. Experts state that a normal resting heartbeat should 60-100 beats per minute. ECG monitors can track the rhythms of a cardiovascular system diagnose serious heart illness. In addition, these healthcare devices can record heartbeats preventing these blood clots from occurring. People who have a history of heart conditions and are experiencing shortness of breath or dizziness should talk to their doctor. Note-ECG and EKG serve the same function, and there is no difference in the procedure.
- Blood pressure monitors: Leading causes of high blood pressure can involve obesity, heavy alcohol consumption, smoking, diabetes, and stress. Many companies have also created a function that makes it easier for non-medical professionals to understand a healthy range and make sending the BP results to their doctor easy.
- Biosensors: Wearable health care electronics like biosensors can come in the form of gloves, implants, clothing, or even tattoos. Biosensors have been a critical player in discoveries in biology. For example, wearable biosensors can detect infections right before a person feels the symptoms of an illness which can aid patients in receiving treatment faster.
- Electrolyte loss sensors: Professional athletes often use this electronic to check to see if their electrolytes are balanced. Obtaining a healthy balance of electrolytes, though, is not just crucial for pro-athletes but everyone. Electrolytes are imperative and help in the delivery of oxygen and fluid balance. In addition, wearable electrolyte sensors function by tracking how much a person sweats and at what rate they are sweating. Excessive sweating can be a vital indicator of a severe medical condition.
Insights About the Wearable Health Tech Market
“The global wearable medical device market size was valued at US$ 14.44 billion in 2019 and expected to hit US$ 89.45 billion by 2027,” according to Global Newswire.
A factor that increases the growth of the wearable health technology market includes the expanding knowledge of what goes into maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Also, the development of wearable medical devices being Bluetooth and compatible with different kinds of phones will drive the market.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Industry
When COVID cases were on the rise in 2020, medical professionals urged people to stay quarantined and restricted large group gatherings. Hospital visits, unless COVID-related, became less frequent. Patients occupying waiting rooms became obsolete as well.
With patients struggling to receive an appointment with their healthcare provider, the telemedicine and wearable medical device industry flourished.
During the peak of the coronavirus spread, many people used wearable health care technology to record vital signs and any symptoms of illnesses. The increase in COVID helped the wearable medical device industry to skyrocket in the billions.
With no stops slowing down, this healthcare technology has the potential to entirely transform the way data is collected in the healthcare industry.
Healthcare Technology: The Future of Wearable Medical Devices