Recent advancements in the health tech industry have drastically changed the way we are able to monitor and prioritize our health. With wearable technology such as Fitbits and smartwatches, it’s easier now than ever to monitor your health, sleep, and exercise habits. Additionally, devices like Amazon’s Alexa can further aid your wellbeing as it is able to know a user is sick just by listening to their voice.
With so many new home health tech options at our disposal, our day-to-day lives are much different than those of generations before us. While many wonder the potential consequences of these devices, for now, it seems as though the healthcare industry is getting a much-needed leg up with the help and use of technology.
Keeping Track of Your Health
Wearable technology has quickly become more and more a part of our lives, and for good reason! Wearable tech, such as smartwatches, can help us live a more healthy lifestyle. Beyond important health and wellness monitoring such as tracking your heart rate and sleeping patterns, it often acts as a personal trainer. Seeing as exercise is essential to our overall health, naturally, motivation is key. Many wearable tech options have their own mobile app which can connect you with a fitness community online as well as direct family and friends, who can then cheer you on as well as share their own fitness journey.
Wearable tech also often comes with features such as music streaming and progress recording which can further positively affect your health and wellness goals. Beyond fitness, those menstruating can track their periods on their wearable device and get alerts when their cycle is about to begin again. It’s also worth noting that this kind of health tech isn’t only for those on a weight-loss or fitness journey but can simply help remind you to drink enough water each day.
Helping Loved Ones (When We Can’t)
Home technology has become a key element in our everyday lives and overall wellbeing by providing better assistance to underserved communities. While discussing how technology is changing healthcare, those at The Medial Futurist explain, “digital technology could help transform unsustainable healthcare systems into sustainable ones, equalize the relationship between medical professionals and patients, provide cheaper, faster and more effective solutions for diseases … and could simply lead to healthier individuals living in healthier communities.” A prime example of who home technology can help are the elderly.
Elderly patients who might not be able to drive can still connect with their doctor virtually and even have medications delivered through home assistant devices, such as Alexa. Additionally, certain technologies can provide reminders and alerts and dispense medication as necessary, which can ease the mind of those who have elderly parents that live alone. If an older adult falls and can’t get up, they can call for help through a home device. It’s also possible to take other precautions and install fall-sensing technology into the carpet.
Always Consider the Risks
While the majority of our world, communities, and homes now interact with technology in some form or another, there are still risks. For example, the security implications that come with using wearable devices are the lack of protection of sensitive data and the potential for hacking. On a greater scale, many healthcare practices have had to improve their cybersecurity during the current COVID-19 pandemic as an uptick in cyberattacks occurred. There is also the threat against privacy as many have noted their home devices eavesdropping. It’s a tricky situation we face — torn between utilizing technology in a positive, meaningful way and putting our security and privacy at risk.
At the end of the day, home health technology has proven to be a great everyday resource for individuals all across the globe. While there are always risks with innovation, our health and wellness needs have certainly become easier to manage and even improved with the help of technology.