Wearable Technology is the new bon mot (literally “good word”) in the healthcare market, with high growth potential and endless opportunities for high tech solutions. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has started a pilot program in their emergency department that equips the doctors with Google Glass, allowing them to sort through medical records without ever leaving the patient’s side. In another hospital, a surgeon used Google Glass to consult with another surgeon during an ACL surgery.
Aside from creative uses of existing hardware, a number of innovative devices have been introduced in recent years in the fields of wearable fitness technology, sports, healthcare, and wellness. In recent years, consumer devices have increased the impact of technology on healthcare. We have put together a list of some of the latest wearable devices in healthcare.
VSM 1: This wearable tech device from Biovotion monitors vital signs, providing accurate and real-time health information similar to devices in hospitals. Simple to use, the wireless vital sign monitor syncs data with the cloud to be accessed on a PC or mobile device. It allows for the continuous monitoring of patients with chronic health conditions, both at home and out in the world. Biovotion’s entry of the VSM 1 was selected as one of five finalists in the Healthcare & Wellness category of the Wearable Technologies Innovation World Cup in January 2014.
Digital Health Feedback System: You can now eat technology – on purpose. An ingestible sensor by Proteus Digital Health sends a unique identifying number to a patch worn on the outside of the body, which in turn relays information to a mobile device. The sensor, just 1mm square, is completely powered by stomach fluids and designed to be digested like any other pill. The system records heart rate, temperature, activity, and rest patterns.
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation): A TENS machine is wearable health care device that sends small electric currents to areas of the body experiencing chronic pain. Electrodes are attached to the skin with adhesive pads. Some portable models feature Bluetooth connectivity and can be linked to a smartphone app for tracking and managing pain.
Wireless Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor: iHealth has developed a wrist-based wearable device in healthcare, playing off the popularity of smartwatches. It is designed to monitor blood pressure, with motion sensor technology that makes the data more accurate. It can be connected with iHealth’s My Vitals app, which allows real-time tracking of your systolic or diastolic blood pressure numbers, heart rate, pulse wave, and measurement time. It can even create charts to track changes over the course of the day and historical data.
The new wave of wearable devices is transforming the healthcare community by putting data directly into the hands of patients, as well as creating new diagnostic and monitoring opportunities for healthcare practitioners. What medical information would you like to see integrated with mobile technology?
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