Wearable technology, what is it? Should you use it? Why would you use it? These are some very popular questions being asked as wearable technology is one of biggest trends for healthcare in 2019.
Wearable technology in healthcare includes electronic devices that consumers can wear, like Fitbits and smart watches, and are designed to collect the data of users’ personal health and exercise without requiring human intervention. Most will use wearables to keep track of their physical activity and heart rate as well as provide recommendations by syncing to various smartphone apps. Wearables are now even moving into ECG monitors that will send the reading to your doctor, as well as detect atrial fibrillation and this year the first wearable blood pressure monitor was launched. Wearables cannot account for the differing health needs of an individual; they can only collect data. Because of this, wearables are used primarily for information about general well-being but not for making decisions about one’s health.
A few benefits of wearable technology provides us with the ability to monitor our fitness levels, track our location with GPS, and view text messages more quickly. Best of all, most of the devices that allow us to do this are hands free and portable, eliminating the need to take our devices out of our pockets. Transmitting this information to our smart devices and allowing us to view it at later times, as well as in the moment. This can help you with setting goals and tracking your progress toward them.
Wearables tend to have a fairly short battery life and some wearables have been reported to measure data inaccurately on occasion. This can be especially dangerous when measuring data like heart rates. For individuals with heart conditions, this false reading could lead to overexertion and further health issues. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether a wearable device is something from which you would benefit. With their increase in popularity, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before committing to one.