Wearable technology is already making a difference in the way we monitor our health. Devices such as wearable fitness trackers monitor our activity level, our sleep cycle, and even the calories we consume in order to manage our personal fitness goals.
Devices like these are growing in popularity. Berg Insight forecasts that sales of smart glasses, smart watches and wearable fitness trackers will reach 64 million units in 2017.
Wearable technology will continue to monitor our health, but in what other ways will wearables affect the healthcare system?
Empower patients to take control of their health. As the wise adage says, “knowledge is power.” For example, this contact lens can monitor blood sugar levels to help diabetes patients manage their condition. Along with that type of knowledge comes healthier and better-informed patients who are empowered to take an active role in their healthcare. These patients can also help to reduce healthcare costs presumably because there would be less need for additional services outside of regular doctor’s visits.
Provide assistance in medical procedures. Wearable technology has improved the way doctors perform surgeries and medical procedures. Google Glass and the like are excellent examples of wearable technology that are making an impact on the healthcare system. Physicians can use voice commands to take pictures or videos during surgery and automatically add them to a patient’s records. The devices can also display real-time data and medical files, so the physician can monitor their patient’s condition and reference their medical history in real-time if necessary.
Enhance doctor-patient interaction. Wearable technology will revolutionize the way doctors and patients communicate. The devices will allow patients to share and transfer important information to physicians or their office from any location at any time. Physicians will also be able to provide an additional level of care from a distance that cannot be achieved via the phone or email.
Crowdsource valuable healthcare information. Wearable devices can facilitate healthcare communities where patients can share and collect data. The industry’s footprint goes far beyond personal use in the healthcare field. The information collected would help medical professionals to better understand health conditions as well as research and develop treatments.
How do you think wearable technology will impact the healthcare industry?