One of 2019’s most notable healthcare trends is wearable technology monitoring devices. For the past few years, wearable fitness technology including Fitbits and Smartwatches have weaved their way into society, and the digital transformation that includes wearable health monitoring devices that capture user health data shows no sign of slowing down.
Driven by the increasing consumer demand to monitor their health, the use of wearable technology has more than tripled in the last four years – with more than 80% of consumers willing to wear fitness technology.
The advancement of wearable healthcare technology and growing demand from consumers to take control of their own health has influenced the medical industry, including insurers, providers, and technology companies. It’s predicted that the ongoing digital revolution can save the healthcare sector over $60 billion in the long-term by making the right technological investments today.
So, is your medical facility, clinic, or practice ready for the wearable digital revolution? Here are four examples of why it’s here to stay:
Some of the simplest and most original forms of wearable technology, wearable fitness trackers, are wristbands equipped with sensors to keep track of the user’s physical activity and heart rate. They provide individualized health and fitness recommendations by syncing to various smartphone apps. The FitBit Flex was an early, popular option for wearable technology consumers, who could wear the device to track their step progress throughout the day.
Smart Health Watches
Once only used to count steps and tell time, smartwatches are now used as clinically viable healthcare tools. Apple launched the Apple Heart Study app in 2017 to monitor the wearer’s heart rhythms and alert those who are experiencing atrial fibrillation.
Smartwatches allow users to perform tasks they usually do on their phones — read notifications, send simple messages, make phone calls — while also offering some of the exercise- and health-tracking benefits of fitness trackers.
Wearable ECG monitors are on the cutting edge of consumer electronics, and what sets these monitors apart from some smartwatches is their ability to measure electrocardiograms or ECGs.
The Move ECG product can measure an electrocardiogram and send the reading to the user’s doctor, as well as to detect atrial fibrillation. It’s also able to track pace, distance, and elevation, as well as automatic tracking for walking, running, swimming, and biking.
Blood Pressure Monitors
In 2019, Omron Healthcare launched HeartGuide, the first wearable blood pressure monitor. It’s an oscillometric blood pressure monitor that can measure blood pressure and daily activity – like steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned. Users can store, track, and share their data with their physician while also gaining insights to determine how personal habits affect their blood pressure.
The wearable healthcare technology market is growing, and it’s predicted that the total installed base of fitness trackers and health-based wearables in the U.S. will grow at an annualized rate of 10% over the next few years. This upward trend in wearable fitness technology will influence the decisions of insurers, health providers, and companies to take advantage of the benefits of wearable health monitoring devices.
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