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The Advancements on Healthcare through Wearable Devices

wearble devices could track their health and fitness information in real time/ Photo By Syda Productions via Shutterstock

 

One of the innovations that happened when technology experienced a lot of advancements and discoveries is the emergence of wearable technology. Wearable technology and devices is a term for electronics that can be worn on the body, either as an accessory or as part of the material used in clothing. There are many types of wearable technology but some of the most popular devices are activity trackers and smartwatches. One of the major features of wearable technology is its ability to connect to the internet, enabling data to be exchanged between a network and the device. The ability to both send and receive data has pushed wearable technology to the forefront of the Internet of Things (IoT). Webopedia.com explained that wearable technology is a category of technology devices where the consumer could wear in order for them to track their health and fitness information in real time, the web post also mentioned that some wearable devices use small motion sensors which take photos and sync it with the mobile device.

 

Meanwhile, rdmag.com mentioned in their article that a research team has reported that they have developed a high-performance and transparent nano force touch sensor using a thin, flexible, and transparent hierarchical nanocomposite (HNC) film. They also added that the sensor features high sensitivity, transparency, bending, insensitivity, and manufacturability. The researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) also explained that they used force touch sensors which could recognize the location and pressure of external stimuli that receives considerable attention for different applications, such as wearable devices, flexible displays, and humanoid robots. Scientists have been struggling to put force touch sensors in flexible applications and the researchers focused on developing non-air gap sensors to get away from the conventional technology where force touch sensors that need air-gaps between electrodes for high sensitivity and flexibility.

The uses of wearable devices

“Self-monitoring of physical activity, eg, with wearable activity trackers, is one of the most used strategies to increase physical activity for adults with a disability,” Thomas Lavergne, PT, MSc, of Sorbonne University in Paris, and colleagues wrote on a website called Helio. They also added that using the sensors that are in the wearable devices helps the user in tracking their daily activities and create a feedback on their movements. It is also possible that the commitment of the patient in doing physical activities may be different from the physical limitation of the patients with the rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease.

 

In the consumer space, sales of smart wristbands started accelerating in 2013. One in five American adults has a wearable device, according to the 2014 PricewaterhouseCoopers Wearable Future Report. As of 2009, decreasing cost of processing power and other components was facilitating widespread adoption and availability. Meanwhile, in professional sports, wearable technology has applications in monitoring and real-time feedback for athletes. Examples of wearable technology in sport include accelerometers, pedometer, and GPS which can be used to measure an athlete’s energy expenditure and movement pattern.

wearable devices helps the user in tracking their daily activities/ Photo By Syda Productions via Shutterstock

 

Moreover, according to Science Direct, there is a study suggested that awareness should be created among elderly populations regarding the use of wearable devices for the early detection and prevention of complications and emergencies. The review concluded that devices should be tested on elderly groups as well, considering sex equality, and on both healthy and sick participants for better insights. In a web post by Staples, heart rate monitors are good for more than just measuring exertion. They can also keep track of the resting heart rate, which is the key statistic that people use in checking their condition if they have hypertension and heart disease.

Different types of wearable devices

 

The effect of these wearable devices is extensive and they are quite powerful especially in the field of fitness, health, and education among others. The concept of wearable technology has been there for some quite some time, however, its implementation on a large scale has still not been very successful, unlike smartphones. There are different types of wearable technologies such as implantable, smartwatches, smart jewelry, fitness trackers, smart clothing, and head-mounted displays.

 

Implantables are the devices that people carry since these are implanted under the skin through surgeries. It is normally being used to treat fatal heart conditions such as those that cause the ventricles to beat too fast and there are numerous mentions in the technology world about the innovative use of implantable birth-control to bio-sensors. Meanwhile, smartwatches and smart jewelry are one of the most commonly known forms of wearable devices. These devices could be connected to the user’s mobile phone in order for them to inform the users about their health and wellness information. Smart jewelry also enables the user to inform them about their emails, calls, or texts whenever they are unable to access their phone.

 

Furthermore, head-mounted displays are the devices that deliver information straight to the user’s eyes. Devices like Oculus Rift will take the user to a virtual world altogether while Google Glass provides them with features like recording and sharing videos, taking pictures, finding information among other things.

 

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