The Role of Wearable Technology in Healthcare: Tracking Health and Wellness in Real-Time
Wearable technology is a phrase that describes devices and apps that you wear rather than carry. This category of products has been around for decades, but it didn’t gain widespread adoption until the early 2010s. Wearable technology can be found in everything from clothing to sports equipment and medical devices. In this article, we’ll look at how wearable technology is used in healthcare settings and how it could impact the industry over time.
Definition of wearable technology
Wearable technology is a term used to describe devices that are worn on the body. These devices can be used to monitor and track health and wellness. Wearables fall under the broader technology category of body-worn devices (BWDs), including smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other similar products.
Importance of wearable technology in healthcare
Wearable technology is a rapidly growing industry that can help improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, and keep patients engaged with their healthcare. As the number of wearable devices on the market continues to grow, it’s important for healthcare providers and payers to understand how these devices work, what they do, and how they can be integrated into care delivery systems.
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that using an activity monitor (such as Fitbit) was associated with an average weight loss of 7 pounds over six months compared with those who did not use one during this period. The study also showed that participants who wore their trackers consistently lost more weight than those who had sporadic use or stopped wearing them altogether after several weeks or months.
Applications of wearable technology in healthcare
The use of wearable technology in healthcare has many benefits. It can help improve patient outcomes and reduce costs while enhancing patient engagement, privacy, and security concerns. However, some challenges must be addressed before widespread adoption of this technology is possible.
Tracking health and wellness in real-time
Wearable technology can track health and wellness in real time. It can inform users about their physical activity, sleep patterns, vital signs, chronic conditions, etc. This can help them manage their disease, prevention, and medication management.
Wearable devices can also track your location, so you always know where you are. This makes it easy for emergency personnel to find you if there is an accident or other emergency that requires immediate attention from emergency medical services (EMS).
Monitoring vital signs
Wearable technology can monitor vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation. This information can help you understand how your body responds to different activities or situations.
Heart rate monitors are one example of wearable tech that can help you track your health by measuring the number of times your heart beats per minute. Heart rate variability (HRV) refers to changes in this number over time; it’s thought that people with higher HRV may have better cardiovascular fitness because they can respond more effectively during stressful situations than those with lower HRV scores.
Tracking physical activity
- Tracking physical activity: When you’re trying to get fit, it’s easy to get discouraged by the scale or mirror. But wearable technology can help you stay on track by showing how much activity you’ve done each day. For example, the Fitbit Charge 3 has a feature called “Reminders to Move” that vibrates when you’ve been emailing addresses physicians sitting too long and encourages users to move around for a few minutes.
- Sharing data with others: Some fitness trackers allow users who want them to access their data through an app or website so that they can see how active their loved ones are at any given moment–or vice versa! This kind of information sharing can also help motivate people who may not otherwise be interested in tracking their health stats regularly.
Monitoring sleep patterns
- Sleep tracking apps are a great way to monitor your sleep patterns and help you develop better sleep habits.
- These apps can also improve overall health by helping you identify any potential health issues, such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, which may be causing you to experience difficulties falling asleep.
- Some examples of popular sleep-tracking apps include Sleep Cycle, Sleep as Android, and Bedtime Math Game (for kids).
Disease management and prevention
Wearable technology can help patients manage their disease and stay healthy. By monitoring their health in real-time, wearable devices can alert them to any health concerns. For example, if you have diabetes and your blood sugar is too high, a wearable device may detect this and alert your doctor or nurse so they can assist before things get out of control.
Another way that wearable devices are changing healthcare is through medication management. Some wearables remind patients when to take their medicine so they don’t forget (or accidentally take too much). If a patient has trouble remembering when they took their pills last week or even yesterday morning, this feature could be extremely useful!
Monitoring chronic conditions
Wearable technology has the potential to help individuals monitor chronic conditions and improve wellness. Chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma can be managed by tracking vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature in real time. Wearable devices can also track physical activity levels, sleep patterns, medication adherence, and other factors affecting health outcomes.
Early detection of diseases
Wearable technology can help you detect diseases earlier, and it can also help you manage your disease better. By monitoring your health and wellness in real-time, wearable devices can alert you when there is an issue with your body or even tell you when to see a doctor. This can save lives by catching problems before they become serious. Still, it’s also important for people who already have chronic conditions like diabetes or epilepsy because wearables allow them to monitor their conditions independently without having to rely on someone else for help.
Wearables are especially helpful for patients who are living with chronic illnesses that require constant monitoring; these people may not always have access to a doctor (especially if they live far away from urban centers), so it’s helpful if the data collected by their wearable devices are easily accessible by medical professionals through apps like My Vitals or Health Tap MD.
Medication management is one of the most important aspects of health care. Patients may not be able to take their medications as prescribed, which can lead to dangerous side effects and even death in some cases. Wearable technology allows patients to track their medication adherence through alerts, reminders, and feedback. This allows doctors to understand better what’s going on with their patient’s treatment plans so they can make adjustments or refer them back to treatment if necessary.
Medication adherence refers to whether or not someone has taken all of their medications at appropriate times throughout the day/week/month etc. In contrast, medication safety refers to whether any risks are associated with certain combinations (i.e., taking an antidepressant and cough syrup).
Reminder systems are a popular use case for wearables. They can help track and remind users about the medications they need to take when they need to exercise, how much sleep they’ve gotten each night, and more.
Reminders can also help people with chronic illnesses like diabetes or hypertension stay on top of their health goals. For example: if a patient has high blood pressure readings due to stress at work or school, he might forget his medication if he doesn’t have an automated reminder system on his wristband device (like this one).
Medication tracking is a critical aspect of healthcare, as it can improve patient outcomes by increasing medication adherence. For example, a study conducted in 2016 found that patients who used wearable devices to track their medications were more likely to take their pills on time than those who didn’t use such devices. The same was true for patients using mobile apps or other digital tools to track their medications.
In addition, these technologies have been shown to reduce hospital readmissions and emergency room visits by providing real-time alerts when patients miss doses or take them at inappropriate times during the day (for example, when they’re asleep). They also help doctors identify potential drug interactions before they become dangerous–which could prevent harmful side effects from occurring down the road!
Benefits of using wearable technology in healthcare
Privacy and security concerns around the use of wearable devices are still a barrier to adoption in many organizations. Still, they can be addressed through policies that address data ownership, consent for data collection and use, encryption measures for storing sensitive information such as passwords or private conversations between clinicians, etcetera; this is where new legislation such as GDPR comes into play!
Data accuracy and reliability – this is another area where there has been some debate around whether wearable provides accurate measurements compared with traditional methods such as lab tests or physical examinations by doctors/nurses, etcetera; however, there’s no doubt that they produce valuable insight into our health which we wouldn’t otherwise have access too so let’s not underestimate their potential impact on improving patient outcomes!
Improved patient outcomes
Wearable technology in healthcare can improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. The following are just a few ways that smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other wearable devices have been used to benefit patients:
Reduced hospital readmission rates – A decrease in hospital readmissions is one of the most important goals for any medical facility because it means fewer days spent in the hospital and less money spent on care. One study found that patients with chronic diseases who wore a Fitbit device as part of their treatment had lower odds of being readmitted than those who did not (Nguyen et al., 2015).
Improved patient compliance – Wearable devices can also help ensure people stick with their prescribed treatments by tracking how often they take their medications or attend therapy sessions. This can be especially effective when paired with other technologies, such as artificial intelligence-powered catboats that remind users when to take their next dose (Kholo et al., 2018).
Wearable technology has the potential to reduce costs by reducing the need for expensive diagnostic tests, as well as multiple visits to the doctor. It also helps reduce the need for expensive medication, medical devices, hospital stays, and surgeries.
Enhanced patient engagement
Wearable technology has the potential to enhance patient engagement in a variety of ways. For example, patients with access to their health data through wearables are likelier to follow their doctor’s orders, take their medication as prescribed, and participate in their healthcare overall.
Enhanced patient engagement – A study published by Stanford University found that patients who used a wearable device were likelier than those without one to stick with their exercise program for at least six months (upwards of 80% vs. 50%). The same study also found that many participants felt more active and motivated after using the device than before they started using it.*
Improved adherence rates – Wearable technology can help improve medication adherence rates by providing real-time data about how often patients take their medications or consume dietary supplements.*
Challenges and limitations of using wearable technology in healthcare
There are several challenges and limitations associated with using wearable technology in healthcare. One of the biggest challenges is privacy and security concerns. Wearable devices collect data about their users’ health and wellness in real-time, requiring access to sensitive information such as medical history, genetic makeup, biometric measurements (like heart rate), location data, and more. If this information is not handled properly, it could lead to serious consequences like identity theft or even death if someone gets hold of your medical records without authorization.
Another challenge facing developers of wearable technologies is ensuring accuracy and reliability when collecting data from various sensors on different parts of the body at once–especially since many patients already have existing conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure that affect how certain parts function normally over time due to illness treatment plans implemented by doctors who specialize in those conditions specifically.”
Privacy and security concerns
Privacy and security are paramount in healthcare, and wearables are no exception. Wearable data can be used to identify patients, track their movements and activities, and observe their interactions with others. This information is sensitive enough to be protected from unauthorized access.
If you’re considering using a wearable device in your practice or clinic but aren’t sure how best to address privacy concerns related to this technology, here are some tips:
Ensure your staff knows that they should never share patient information with anyone outside of their immediate team unless it’s necessary for patient care or treatment purposes–and even then, only after receiving explicit consent from the patient involved (or their guardian).
Encourage employees who work directly with patients or residents regularly (such as nurses) not only read up on best practices for protecting sensitive data before using wearable; but also consider taking additional training courses specifically focused on this topic, so they feel confident handling sensitive data responsibly when working within an organization that uses wearable regularly.*
Data accuracy and reliability
A critical aspect of data accuracy and reliability is the device used. The more advanced a wearable technology is, the more accurate its measurements can be expected to be. For example, an accelerometer (which measures movement) in a smartwatch will provide more accurate results than one built into your smartphone because it’s designed specifically for this purpose and has fewer distractions from other phone functions that might interfere with its ability to measure motion accurately.
The user also plays an important role in ensuring reliable health data collection: they should keep their body parts as still as possible during measurement periods so as not to introduce errors into readings; they should also avoid wearing clothing with metal fasteners or zippers, which could cause interference with wireless signals; finally, if possible participants should refrain from eating large meals before tests since doing so can affect blood sugar levels which could skew results when taken into account over time.
Integration with existing healthcare systems
Wearable technology is being integrated into existing healthcare systems, which has the potential to benefit patients and providers in many ways. For example, it can help clinicians diagnose diseases more quickly and accurately by providing additional data about their patient’s health. Wearables could also be part of a preventative care program that helps individuals maintain their health through exercise or other healthy habits (like eating well).
However, there are challenges associated with integrating wearables into existing healthcare systems: some patients may not want to use these devices because they don’t like having something attached to their body all day long; furthermore, some wearable devices don’t work well with other equipment used by hospitals or clinics (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging scanners). Finally–and perhaps most importantly–it remains unclear whether there will be enough demand for such products among consumers who might otherwise choose not to seek medical attention until they’re acutely ill (or worse).
Future of wearable technology in healthcare
Wearable technology is a rapidly growing field that has the potential to impact healthcare in several ways. The following are some of the most important factors to consider:
Advancements in technology: Wearable devices are constantly evolving, with new features added and improvements made constantly. This means that they’re becoming more powerful and reliable than ever before. As this trend continues, wearable devices will become an increasingly common tool for tracking health data and monitoring patients’ progress during treatment or recovery from illness or injury.
Increased adoption/usage rates among consumers: More people choose wearables because they offer convenience and simplicity over other self-monitoring forms like keeping track via smartphone apps or manually logging information into spreadsheets (which can be difficult if there aren’t nearby computers). Additionally, many people find wearing a device helps them stay motivated about their fitness goals because it reminds them how much progress they’ve made each day when checking back after completing activities like walking 10k steps–or even just taking the stairs instead of riding an escalator!
Advancements in technology
Wearable technology is evolving rapidly. Newer wearable devices are becoming more sophisticated and accurate and can be used to track more things. For example, the Apple Watch has a heart-rate sensor that allows you to measure your heart rate at any time of day or night without placing electrodes on your chest.
In addition, newer wearable devices have better battery life than older models, so they don’t need charging as often! This also makes them more cost-effective because you don’t have to replace them as often (or even if their battery lasts for years).
Increased adoption and usage
Wearable technology is a growing industry, and the future of wearable technology in healthcare looks bright. Wearables are becoming more common, with an estimated 5 billion devices expected to be sold by 2022.
Increased adoption and usage of wearable technology: This year alone, the number of people using fitness trackers jumped from 27% to 33%. As more people adopt these devices and begin using them regularly, researchers will have more opportunities to study how they impact daily life. The increased use will also give us insight into the benefits users experience from wearing their tracking devices.
Potential impact on the healthcare industry
Wearable technology has the potential to improve healthcare outcomes and reduce costs. For example, healthcare providers can use wearable devices to monitor patients’ health in real time, which helps them predict when something is wrong or likely to go wrong, so they can intervene before it’s too late.
This could save lives, but it’s also a cost-effective way of treating patients since it reduces unnecessary treatments and procedures due to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.
As for patients themselves, They’re using wearables to monitor their vital signs (like blood pressure) at home regularly–and this kind of self-monitoring plays an important role in preventing chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus type 2 (DMII).
This paper has explored the use of wearable technology to track health and wellness. Wearable devices can help individuals monitor their activity levels, sleep patterns, heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs. They can also monitor movement when someone has fallen or has trouble breathing. In addition to providing valuable data about an individual’s health status at any given moment, wearables can be used as tools for self-monitoring over time–helping users identify trends that may indicate problems before they become serious issues requiring professional intervention.
There are many benefits associated with using wearable for personal health management:
They provide real-time feedback on what’s happening inside your body, so you know how well (or poorly) you do daily.* They offer an affordable means of tracking changes over time without requiring expensive medical tests or visits from doctors or other healthcare professionals.* You don’t have to remember anything because it all happens automatically.* And perhaps most importantly: You feel empowered because these devices give back some control over otherwise uncontrollable situations like pain management (easing anxiety), disease prevention/management (enhancing confidence), injury prevention/management (protecting against accidents)
Summary of key points
Wearable technology is rapidly growing, poised to become an important part of your health care.
In real-time, wearable devices can track your activity levels, sleep patterns, and other vital signs. This allows you to see how your body responds to different activities or behaviors so that you can make informed choices about how you live your life–and this information can help doctors diagnose issues earlier than ever.
As more people use these devices on their own (as opposed to having them prescribed by their doctors), they can share their data with other users with similar conditions or lifestyles. This will allow researchers worldwide access information about broader populations than ever before possible; eventually, this could lead toward a better understanding of how diseases progress across different groups of people over time, allowing us all better treatment options down the road!
Implications for healthcare providers and patients
For healthcare providers, wearable technology offers real-time monitoring of patient’s health. This allows them to identify and treat issues as they arise and prevent future complications. For example, suppose an elderly patient wore an oxygen sensor on her wrist, and her blood oxygen level dropped below normal. In that case, she could receive immediate help from her doctor or nurse, who would know exactly when she needed assistance because of the data collected by the sensor.
Similarly, wearable technology can be used by patients themselves as part of their treatment plans. For example, many people with chronic conditions such as diabetes wear sensors that track their blood sugar levels throughout the day; this information helps them maintain healthy habits like eating right and exercising regularly to avoid dangerous spikes or drops in their condition over time (which can lead to serious complications).
Wearable technology is changing the way we live our lives. The healthcare industry is no exception and will only continue to grow as more people adopt wearable technology in their daily routines. Wearables are becoming increasingly common in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Still, they have not taken hold as a mainstream solution for patients looking for convenience or greater access to their medical information.
A 2019 report from Juniper Research predicts that by 2023 there will be over 110 million units sold worldwide–a 40% increase over their current estimate of 75 million units sold by 2022 (Juniper Research). This growth can be attributed directly (to new types of smartwatches) and indirectly (to more smartphones equipped with health apps).
Alexander James works as a marketing specialist at InfoGlobalData. James has worked in the b2b industry for the past two years. He empowers marketers by sharing valuable information across different verticals such as healthcare, technology, marketing, etc.