Wearable Technology in Home Healthcare: 10 Devices of the Future
Wearables are one of the hottest new technology items today. Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and even VR headsets have gained high popularity. But these devices hold more promise than just entertainment value. Wearable technology has the potential to revolutionize healthcare. Here’s a round-up of 10 wearable health devices of the future.
From AliveCor, KardiaMobile is meant to provide an electrocardiogram (EKG) test that fits in your pocket. It’s an FDA-cleared, clinical grade personal EKG monitor that can capture a medical-grade EKG in 30 seconds. Users simply put a set of finger pads near their phone and place their fingers on it to take a quick reading. The app works with most smartphones, and can show the user’s heartbeat and whether it’s regular or if the user might be experiencing atrial fibrillation. AliveCor also carries the KardiaBand, which utilizes the Apple watch heart rate sensor for continuous monitoring.
This is for the little ones. Designed for infants, TempTraq is a single-use, 48-hour stick on patch that is worn under a baby’s arm. It provides continuous feedback about the temperature of the user, using Bluetooth technology to send the data directly to a compatible smartphone. The device sends alerts as soon as temperatures exceed the normal limits. It’s FDA approved, which means it’s already making appearances in hospitals for early fever detection.
This wearable technology is designed to help the 300 million people affected by asthma worldwide. It involves three parts: the patch-like wearable detects precursor symptoms of asthma, an app to help track symptoms and send reminders for medication, and a web portal to monitor treatment.
Quell is a 100% drug-free, FDA approval wearable that sends neural pulses directly to the brain to help relieve chronic pain. These pulses work by triggering the body’s natural pain blockers Quell allows users a great degree of personalization; after the initial calibration, patients can start and stop the pulses and adjust their intensity. The app also can track pain, intensity, and activity. It’s worn just below the knee and is suitable for many types and sources of chronic pain.
5. Smart Stop
Smart Stop is a wearable in development by Chrono Therapeutics that’s meant to help people stop smoking. It’s embedded with sensors that sense changes in the body that indicate the user is craving nicotine and dispense medicine to suppress the craving. This transdermal system tailors the dose and timing of the drug to maximize its effectiveness, unlike standard nicotine patches. Smart Stop will also include a companion app that provides data and motivational notifications to its user. It’s shaping up to be one of the more promising wearables of the future.
By monitoring metabolic changes in heat that correlate to accelerated cell activity common in tumors, this wearable will be both noninvasive and preventative. The dual breast patches are worn as a bra insert and are aimed at helping detect breast cancer early.The data from the patches will then be sent to either a PC or a smartphone where it can be easily shared with physicians. This technique is effective in detecting cancer in dense breast tissue (which makes mammograms harder to read and leads to sometimes-unnecessary breast biopsies). These patches are meant to be treated as another screening rather than a replacement for mammograms, but a noninvasive measure to help with early detection is sure to be an appealing option for patients at risk of breast cancer.
Stress isn’t healthy, but it’s tough to track stress and also take steps to reduce it. Pip is aimed at helping users do both. By scanning the skin pores on a user’s fingertips, Pip captures changing stress levels. But that’s not all — Pip takes this data and sends it to its companion app which visualizes your stress level with audio and visual feedback. For example, the app might show a tree in a wintery landscape, and as the user relaxes, the image changes to a cheerful springtime scene. Pip also quantifies this into a score and offers detailed breakdowns of stress and relaxations. It’s a busy world out there, and Pip is designed to help users manage it mindfully.
From wrinkles to skin cancer, there’s a wide array of ways the UV rays affect our health for the worse. L’Oreal’s UV sense is a battery-free sensor that measures UV exposure of its wearer. The catch: the device is just nine millimeters in diameter and can be worn on the thumbnail. Users will gain data about when they are most exposed to UV rays, so they can take steps to protect their skin.
But all sun is not bad sun. In fact, getting enough light can help fight Seasonal Affective Disorder and and regulate sleep schedules. The SunSprite is a wearable that’s supposed to help users track their sun exposure. It’s battery-free (recharged by the sun) and collects data about the user’s sun exposure, which is sent to the companion app on a compatible smartphone. The device itself also has a progress bar showing how much light you have received during the day. It can even be worn as jewelry!
10. IDM Perform
While we’ve heard of wearables that can be worn on our wrists and heads, this device is one for the toes. IDM Perform Footbeds are inserts that contain sensors that monitor your biomechanical health and track activity to share with medical professionals. The footbeds connect to a desktop interface wirelessly to transfer data and allow users to view analysis and insights.