Healthcare has advanced in many key areas over the last several decades. In particular, wearable devices have become more powerful and accessible in many exciting ways. Becoming aware of some of the most popular wearable devices in healthcare can give one a broader perspective on the field and the direction it’s going in.
Here are the top five wearable technologies in healthcare.
Smartwatches for Monitoring Patients
In the past, the idea of having your vitals taken remotely was a scenario reserved for science fiction stories. Today, however, devices with the ability to do this have become more accessible than ever before with people of all ages now using them for recreational purposes.
Smartwatches have the ability to track various vitals, such as one’s heart rate, the number of calories one burn, and even sleeping patterns. For medical professionals, this data can be used to get an accurate picture of patients’ habits and vitals throughout the day.
Though it has not yet become commonplace, these devices may become a tool for medical professionals to monitor individuals with certain health problems. This way, medical professionals can be alerted in the case of abnormal vitals that could signify a serious health issue. While still evolving, smartwatches have proven themselves to be powerful tools for monitoring vitals in interesting ways that can contribute to medical care and one’s well-being.
Transdermal Patches for Administering Drugs
Transdermal patches are efficient and convenient ways to deliver drugs to the body over the course of a day. Put simply, transdermal patches are patches worn on the body that deliver a certain number of drugs into the wearer’s body over a certain prolonged period of time.
While transdermal patches aren’t a new drug delivery system, they are constantly being iterated and advanced in novel ways. For example, some companies utilize micro-needle technology to help make the delivery of drugs into the wearer’s body more efficient. Others use proprietary technology to do things such as use electrical currents to transfer drugs into the body.
Some of the main reasons for the popularity of transdermal patches include the fact that it’s convenient for users and can be applied broadly. For example, it can be used for helping smokers quit using tobacco products by delivering small quantities of nicotine to the body. In other cases, transdermal patches can be used to slowly release painkillers. These very different examples help highlight the fact that transdermal patches have a wide number of applications across medicine.
Wearable Sensors for Medication Management
A big problem in some areas of healthcare is patients not being consistent about taking their medication. In particular, mental health professionals have had an immense amount of difficulty making sure that their patients with schizophrenia are consistently taking their medications. Wearable sensors for medication management are an amazing new technology that is gaining in popularity among mental health professionals and offers a solution to this challenge.
This technology features a wearable aspect, such as a bracelet or patch, that the patient wears. This wearable feature is programmed to monitor pills that patients take and can notify others if the pill has been taken. For patients with severe mental health illnesses, it can be extremely difficult to keep them consistent when it comes to taking medications.
With wearable sensors that detect medication consumption, healthcare professionals and family members can be notified if a patient doesn’t take their medication at a specific time. In this way, medical professionals and caretakers can monitor patients and make sure that they are taking their medications remotely.
Smart Clothing for Measuring Health-Related Data
Smart clothes are an emerging technology that involves weaving electronics into textiles for various uses. As it pertains to healthcare, smart clothing could potentially be used to monitor the health-related data of those wearing it.
Though it is still in the research phase and not widely available to the public, studies have been promising and show that smart clothing could be an effective way to monitor patients remotely and record data. In particular, these shirts can be utilized to measure heart movements and breathing patterns, making them a useful tool for medical professionals wanting to keep an eye on patients.
Ultimately, smart clothing may soon act as a particularly effective way for medical professionals to treat and monitor patients that are at a high risk of experiencing certain health ailments. Soon, it is more than likely that many medical organizations will begin utilizing this technology once it has been proven beyond a doubt that it’s effective and safe for patients.
Wearable Injectors for Drug Delivery
For many individuals who have ailments that require the consistent administering of injections, the process can be inconvenient and burdensome. Thankfully, wearable injector devices have offered themselves as an effective solution to streamline the process and make administering drugs through injections far simpler.
One group of individuals who can greatly benefit from wearable injectors is those with diabetes who need constant shots of insulin. The convenience of treatment for these individuals can be greatly improved with these devices as they make treatment an automated process rather than a tedious task.
While some wearable injectors are currently available, the industry is expected to explode in the coming years. As the technology for wearable injectors advances and becomes more accessible, it will likely become a normalized part of the healthcare industry in a matter of years.
Wearable Technologies are the Future of Medical Care
Wearable technology is an exciting field in healthcare that continues to grow and evolve with each passing day. While some wearable devices have been around for decades, others are only now emerging onto the scene. As time goes on and products are iterated and evolved, it’s more than likely that wearable technology will become an inextricable part of healthcare.