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Digital technology has begun to transform the healthcare sector, and many innovations are coming to light regularly. Thanks to the growth of artificial intelligence and the prevalence of telemedicine, patients and doctors alike are beginning to reap the benefits. One noticeable trend in recent times involves the use of wearable devices. How do these gadgets function? What are some of their primary purposes? What is a handful of common examples? What does the future of this industry have in store? Let us take a look at all of these questions in more detail.
The Principle of Remote Monitoring Solutions
The fundamental principles associated with remote communications have existed since wireless technology first emerged during the latter half of the 1990s. But, of course, the methods themselves have progressed in leaps and bounds over the past two decades. This is why it is perfectly logical that their presence is impacting the medical community as a whole.
Another reason why wearable devices are enjoying such prominence in modern times involves their user-friendly nature. These units are easy to program, they will not require a great deal of space, and many can be used while out and about with little effort. Perhaps the main takeaway point is that wearable devices can provide a preventative medical edge compared to annual check-ups and similar examinations that may discover a problem only after it has existed for a long time.
What are the Purposes of Wearable Medical Devices?
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One of their primary purposes is to record real-time medical data to track an individual’s physical conditions more accurately. For example, some may be employed to monitor the heart rate over a specific period of time, while others are programmed to monitor one’s sleeping schedule and REM cycles. This information can be stored within the device for altering retrieval or wirelessly transmitted to a medical professional. Either way, such devices provide insight that would hardly be possible when using more traditional methods. Furthermore, potentially serious medical conditions (such as an irregular heartbeat) can be detected early, leading to a more positive prognosis and potentially saving lives.
A Growing Market Presence
It is important to note that wearable devices do not necessarily have to be prescribed within clinical settings. Many are available on the open market. Here are some common examples of commercially produced wearable devices:
- Smartwatches such as the Fitbit.
- Sensors are designed to monitor one’s heart rate.
- Devices that connect to a dedicated smartphone application.
- Software systems intended to track exercise programs.
There can also be times when devices are designed for specific purposes. For example, wearable oximeters may be employed to track the oxygen content within the blood of an individual who has been diagnosed with COPD. Or units intended to measure blood sugar levels within sweat are often used by people with diabetes. Therefore, it is clear that versatility is one of the key benefits of this type of technology.
A More Personalised Approach to Medicine
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In the past, many medical treatments involved what some have termed a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Without a more personalized strategy, patients rarely felt they were in charge of their own health. Wearable devices now provide a decidedly hands-on approach. This allows individuals to feel more in control, and as a result, they are likely to take a proactive stance. This is important when dealing with chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
Let us also remember that targeted medical monitoring solutions can often help to lower insurance premiums over time. This is because companies which see that patients care about their well-being are more likely to offer lower rates. This is why such devices are now being offered to individuals considered to be at a higher risk of developing specific conditions.
A Bright and Innovative Digital Future
We are now beginning to witness gamification enter into the equation. Providing users with competitive goals (such as eating right or losing a certain amount of weight) is more likely targets will be met. This once again illustrates the preventative advantages of wearable devices.
Because 5G wireless communications will dominate the industry in the coming years, it is perfectly logical to assume that wearable medical technology is set to enjoy this future. Furthermore, these units are likewise expected to become smaller and smarter, providing even more end-user insight.
Of course, wearable technology is never intended to represent a substitute for professional diagnoses. These units are instead designed to augment the effectiveness of existing medical practices while providing greater levels of insight to patients and doctors alike. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what the future has in store.