WEARABLE HEALTH DEVICES: CURRENT USES AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES.
-Written by Dr. Gauri Parvathy, Tbilisi state medical university.
The demand for wearable devices has increased significantly over the past few years due to their immense potential, notably for data production for cutting-edge health research. Since the 1960s, researchers have been studying wearable technology, which has advanced significantly in recent years thanks to developments in the internet, intelligent hardware, and big data. Wearable technology, which includes items like smartwatches, bracelets, armbands, and eyewear, is now widely employed in the healthcare industry as well as in education, culture, social networking, and the military. Wearable technology in healthcare can be used for condition monitoring, analysis, and therapy. It can also deliver precise, real-time information on physiological and pathological data. The five primary characteristics of wearable technology in the healthcare industry are wireless mobility, interaction, and intelligence, sustainability, and durability, ease of use and downsizing, wearability, and portability.
Classification of wearable health devices
Wearables can be divided into three categories head, limb, and torso wearables. Eyeglasses, helmets, headbands, hearing aids, earrings, earbuds, and patches are examples of head wearable technology. Devices that can be worn on the arms, legs, and feet are referred to as limb wearables. Examples include smart watches, bracelets, shoes, and socks. Underwear, belts, and suits are examples of torso wearables. Technology advancements in materials and sensing have led to the development of electronic goods embedded in textiles or other materials for a variety of biomedical applications.
Application of wearable health devices in healthcare.
These gadgets have grown in popularity in recent years due to their potential to significantly aid in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of ailments. The early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is one instance of how wearable technology can be employed in illness diagnostics. According to studies, a person’s stride, or the way they walk, is a non-invasive biological predictor of their cognitive performance. It could be feasible to spot early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease and take action before the disease worsens by wearing a wearable device that can measure and analyze gait metrics. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome are another example of people who use wearable technology to diagnose diseases (OSAHS). With OSAHS, a person’s breathing is frequently interrupted while they sleep, which results in poor sleep quality and an elevated risk of numerous health issues. Wearable nighttime breathing monitoring devices can be utilized in the comfort of one’s own home and can increase the accuracy of early OSAHS diagnosis. Additionally, there are many disorders that can be treated using wearable technology. A wearable defibrillator, for instance, can assist in monitoring arrhythmias for individuals who may be in danger of cardiac arrest. The gadget can administer emergency defibrillation to restore normal rhythm in cases of cardiac arrest or ventricular fibrillation. The overall survival of patients with malignant gliomas has also been shown to be increased by a wearable medical device that delivers alternating currents.
Pitfalls and challenges
In conclusion, wearable technology has the potential to significantly help in the evaluation and treatment of a variety of ailments by continuously tracking changes in vital signs. The field of rehabilitation, particularly in sports rehabilitation, cognitive rehabilitation, and rehabilitation aids for people with impairments, also shows potential for wearable technology. It should be highlighted, nevertheless, that compared to their health monitoring capabilities, wearable technology still has a long way to go when it comes of therapeutic applications. Additionally, wearable technology has advanced significantly for use in settings like medical education, the creation of preoperative surgery arrangements, intraoperative route planning, prior-to-surgery doctor-patient interaction, and remote consultation due to the rise of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality technology.
Future directions for wearable medical technology include more study and development of disease detection and treatment, as well as the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence to boost the precision and efficacy of these devices.
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