Healthcare wearables go beyond fitness | Oct17 Newsletter
Healthcare wearables and smart devices have gone beyond simply counting steps and keeping track of your heart rate – there are now devices that can monitor medical conditions, aid treatment and even block pain signals from reaching the brain.
The potential of smart technology in the healthcare sector appears to have gone much further than wearables that can simply track fitness. Here are five examples of smart devices that could benefit healthcare professionals and medical centres.
1. Live by EarlySense
There’s a range of monitoring smart technology out there geared towards tracking specific medical symptoms and keeping users in good health. One such example is Live by EarlySense. Previously only available in hospitals, this useful device was released for consumers in January this year. The remote monitor sits on your bedside table and tracks sleep and vital statistics such as breathing, heart rate and stress levels. It can be used by hospital staff to monitor bedridden or elderly patients and alert them of any worrying symptoms or trends.
The Ava bracelet is designed specifically for women to keep track of their reproductive health and monitor fertility. It alerts the wearer to symptoms associated with their cycle and helps assess their health during pregnancy. It also means the pregnant woman’s doctor has greater insight into their patient’s fertility or pregnancy.
3. RAPAEL Smart Glove
The RAPAEL Smart Glove is one of many wearable devices that goes beyond monitoring and into treatment. The glove is an exoskeleton-like device that can be used by doctors to help those who have experienced strokes or other neurological or musculoskeletal injuries. The glove is equipped with a Bluetooth sensor that measures the patient’s motions during a 30-minute exercise and then tailors an exercise schedule to the individual patient’s needs to help them regain some mobility in their hand.
Livia is a pain-management device that attaches to the wearer’s pants and has two electrodes for placement on the abdomen. Livia is designed to help women manage menstrual cramps by attempting to block pain signals from being sent to the brain. Such technology offers great potential for the healthcare industry and could aid medical staff in alleviating their patients’ pain.
5. Ingestion Event Marker (IEM)
We’re used to the idea of wearables, but we’re beginning to see the emergence of what’s being dubbed ‘insideables’. Take, for example, the Ingestion Event Marker (IEM) launched by Proteus Digital Health in 2012. The ingestible sensor is integrated into varying pills and reports on the identity and timing of the drug taken when it comes into contact with stomach fluid. This is designed to help doctors and patients track their regular medication with greater accuracy.
There is a growing demand for smart devices and wearables in the healthcare sector to improve quality of life and treatment for various patients. We can expect to see new innovative devices entering the market in the near future as other healthcare organisations realise their potential.