The human body monitoring revolution has already began!! Today there are numerous wearables that track physical activity on a daily basis (e.g. steps taken, distance traveled, time asleep), food intake, and vital signs (cardiac rate and rhythm, heart attack detection) along with cancer detection, glucose monitoring, seizure warning (Darwish and Hassanien 2011).
Wearable band and built-in kimono monitor have been also developed for babies and they track their breathing, skin temperature, activity, body position, and you can also listen to audio via the phone app.
The companies as well as the consumers are hopeful and have the following predictions about wearables technology:
Despite consumer excitement and craving for more, only few individuals own devices.
The possible reasons are: slow adoption, price of the device, a large variety of choice and a lack of consistency use, data that consumers don`t now how to interpret data and what to do with it are important factors to consider.
In team with engineers, data visualization developers, UX researchers and designers public health specialists can improve the current technology:
-integrate wearables into insurance plan or borrow wearables for anonymous data. Big data presents an opportunity for large scale epidemiological studies (cross-sectional, longitudinal and even clinical trials) that previously was so hard to collect.
– develop an algorithm for meaningful data extraction to predict and analyze risk factor for chronic diseases and possibly outbreaks.This will help to make evidence-based policy decisions, identify targets for preventive medicine. For example, we already know the triggers of heart disease are bad habits (smoking, stress, alcoholism etc) or diseases/conditions (atherosclerosis, high blood pressure,obesity,thyroid disease,etc) that can cause or aggravate it. Prevention strategies can include exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a healthy, low-fat diet. Combining this data with personal current health condition and tracking the daily life activity can actually generate helpful tips for the consumer.This insightful data will influence person`s behavior change.
– personalize and advice on “smart” devices like at the Ochsner Health System in New Orleans (LA) that assist patients in choosing appropriate wearables and apps for their particular condition or visit this website to select one for yourself
Apart from saving billions in healthcare costs, wearables will promote Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), live healthier and save lives by predicting body function failure (heart attack, respiratory failure), prevent injuries during sport and emergency situations, and predict cancer.