“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” is one of the most-known opening lines in world literature.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is a seminal novel focusing on life in Paris and London in the late 1770s. Back then, the life expectancy throughout Europe was between 30 and 40 years of age. Interestingly, most of the classics we have read are about grand grandparents at the age of 55 and old maids wearing mouldy bridal gowns in their mid-30s, reminiscing the ephemeral lives in those years. However, today, when we are just one step away from 2023, the average life span is 77.8 years for men and 83.3 years for women.
There are a plethora of grounds why we live much more than our ancestors, though, undoubtedly, one of the most significant modifications is the cutting-edge advancements we have in modern medicine. In contrast to a century ago, doctors have almost all the benefits of technology to establish a final diagnosis. And as we all know, early detection saves lives!
Most health issues give a sign by slight symptoms before they strike back and lead to a nightmare. Heart diseases and diabetes are just two of thousands of illnesses, but these duos are at the top of the worst list, causes of death list. Ischaemic heart disease is responsible for 16% of worldwide deaths, while Diabetes Mellitus has been the death cause of 3.2 million people in a year.
According to medical research and statistics, most patients do not realise they have a severe heart problem before they face a cardiovascular spasm and, even worse, heart attacks. Unfortunately, just half of these patients endure and return to their families. Surviving a myocardial infarction is primarily due to recognising the symptoms, awareness of prevention, and getting prompt aid. Therefore, those wearing wearable health devices have a more increased chance of survival. When we think of such tiny gadgets capable of saving millions of lives, it is impossible for us not to be intrigued by the latest technology. Right?
Briefly, wearable technology, also known as wearables, are technological devices that are designated to be used while worn on the user’s body. These devices come in all forms, such as smart watches, jewellery, glasses, and headsets, and serve miscellaneous purposes, from communication and entertainment to healthcare. These wearable devices have sensors that can track a variety of parameters, such as the user’s heart rate, movement, blood pressure, ballistocardiogram, blood oxygen saturation, ECG and body temperature. The main focus, for now, is monitoring and preventing diseases before it is too delinquent. Scanning specific data can expose physiological and psychological parameters indicating various ailments and disorders.
Using the data collected from these sensors, we can get real-time information about the user’s vitals, behaviours and daily activities that can contribute to the patient’s overall health and well-being. These gadgets can also alert the user if there appears to be an issue with the numbers, such as increased heart rate while not enough motion to cause it to be detected. Since they can function for diverse conditions and requirements, the areas and purposes they can be used for are endless with wearable health devices. The demand for wearables has been highly elevated recently, and the providers have shown outstanding effort in advancing these devices to enhance their functions.
Examples of Wearable Healthcare Devices
- Smart Health Watches
Smartwatches emerged on the market at the beginning of the 2010s. The low-grade editions were used to track our steps, count the calories and alert us when we received a call. That was all! However, since their first appearance in our life, smartwatches have come a long way. Today, they can follow as far as the oxygen rate in the user’s blood. The data provided by these smartwatches are primarily accurate and can be used for daily health monitoring. Multiple big tech companies have smartwatches on the market, and the wonders they achieve in real-life conditions make massive changes in our perspective on health problems.
These smartwatches can alert the user if an increased heart rate is detected while the user is in the resting position. According to most cardiologists, this is one of the symptoms of a possible heart problem or an anxiety attack. If the device has a set to alert specific contacts, it could save the users’ lives. These functions of the watches can be applied to a variety of conditions and instances. It is not a mystery why the latest models are flying off the shelves so quickly. They are not only functional but can also be dapper in many colours.
- Smart Glasses
Nowadays, smart glasses are mainly operated for artificial reality. Due to the new Metaverse craze, multiple VR glasses are available on the market that can be used for entertainment purposes. However, they can become excellent alternatives to wearable healthcare devices such as smartwatches. Smart glasses can quickly revolutionise the healthcare industry in areas such as hands-free documentation, rapid diagnostics and telemedicine. They can also monitor eye movements, detecting certain conditions such as seizures and psychological disorders. The possibilities are endless, and smart glasses are assumed to evolve into one of the most widespread wearable healthcare devices in the near future.
- Wearable ECG monitors
ECG or EKG monitors are wearable devices that help users track their heart rhythm and rate. These apparatuses come in a variety of forms, and some can measure other vitals, like blood pressure. While they are not as precise as the proficient machines used by physicians, they can assemble necessary data throughout the day to deliver vital information for diagnosis and prevention of certain attacks. Using an at-home ECG monitor is a superb alternative and addition to professional ECG monitors.
Biosensors are much more advanced than our regular smart wearable healthcare devices. They can be used to diagnose several diseases, including cancer, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, neurological diseases, and autoimmune disorders. Biosensors are inseparable from modern medicine, and thanks to them, we can notice the early stages of numerous diseases and treat them before they metastasise.
- Wearable Blood Pressure Monitors
Wearable blood pressure monitors might look like regular smart watches or simple stickers. Cardiologists use them to observe their patients’ daily activities and blood pressure to see how lifestyle modifications improve their blood pressure or if the given medication works. They are lightweight and compact, so they do not cause any impediments in the patients’ day-to-day lives.
Since the pandemic, wearable health device sales have boosted remarkably. During the Covid-19 outbreak, hospitals worldwide performed at total capacity and daily hospital visits were no longer available. This situation led to a tremendous demand for wearable health devices since the necessity for at-home health monitoring became more critical. These devices are regarded as accessible and an eminent option for routine hospital visits for monitoring. The number of people using wearable healthcare devices daily will advance as these devices will become more practical and convenient.
It is a blessing to live in this age where technology can develop marvels for us. Our lives are already much more straightforward and pragmatic thanks to devices such as our smartphones, cutting-edge computers and household technological widgets. Health data monitoring devices can be worn on our wrists with the newest innovations and headways. Wearable healthcare devices can help people of all ages with all sorts of conditions. The future looks promising in terms of earlier diagnoses and the deterrence of certain diseases. If you have chronic illnesses or want to track your vitals each day, using one of the wearables on the market might be an excellent idea.