Wearables have gained massive popularity over the past few years, and wearable tech market shipments are forecast to exceed 240 million by 2021. This effectively bolsters the Big Data paradigm shift, with wearables becoming an increasingly essential source of personal data to be leveraged for a range of purposes. Wearables are bound to have significant impact specifically on healthcare – shifting from being a cool device to a clinical imperative – where data aggregated can drastically reform the way in which patients and care providers interact.
Interactions with physicians traditionally involve on-demand visits to clinics, or meeting doctors face-to-face when something goes wrong. This is already changing and is set to evolve to 24/7 relations in the imminent future. Doctors and caregivers – continuously “fed” medical parameters on patients on the go – will be able to view and validate general wellbeing, and determine illnesses and other irregularities, even before those under their care become aware of them.
The switch from curing to caring will significantly enhance healthcare. It will also produce massive healthcare-related cost savings – an objective well acknowledged by regulators increasingly investing in improved reimbursements that incentivize remote patient monitoring and new telemedicine codes.
- We are now at a stage in which sensor-rich wearables have evolved into a new and crucial information aggregation channel – an automated way to collect vital, previously untapped, data without requiring users to manually log and record information
- Wearables have shifted from being a cool device to a clinical imperative, presenting invaluable potential for a range of healthcare applications, set to transform and revolutionize the Digital Health
- These applications enable advance diagnosis and early detection of health-related symptoms. Caregivers can be notified and alerted on a patient’s health status and intervene, in real-time, when needed
- The potential of leveraging wearable technology to precisely track body motion and detect hand gestures can be key to understanding a range of indicators representing the physical and emotional state