When many people hear the term “wearables,” they think of fun products like the Apple Watch and the Fitbit Flex. But in recent years, the medical community has been eagerly eyeing new technology that could improve health outcomes for patients.
With wearables for healthcare, medical practitioners could take a preventive approach to helping patients. Wearables would monitor for problems and alert doctors, which would be far less expensive than treating those issues once they’ve progressed. Studies have found that wearables could save billions of dollars in caring for congestive heart failure treatment alone.
Wearable technology has made big headlines this year, with Google Glass and smartwatches promising to change the way consumers live and work. As the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement age, the healthcare industry is thriving, with patients increasingly relying on medical providers to help them live healthy, productive lives.
With the need for quality healthcare growing, those in the medical community are in search of tools that can help them better care for patients. Major tech companies such as Google and Apple have been diligently looking for ways to incorporate healthcare solutions into technology products consumers can wear everyday. If a smartwatch or a pair of glasses could transmit biometric data to medical providers, patients could receive quicker care. Not only could this save lives, it could also cut down on medical visits, saving insurers and consumers money.
The Apple iWatch "watch" continues, with rumors about the product continuing to circulate. The latest rumor is that the iWatch will feature fitness tracking, similar to the tracking currently offered by the Nike+ FuelBand.
Perhaps at the root of the rumor is Tim Cook's public admiration of the FuelBand, which tracks a person's physical activity, providing information on number of steps, calories burned, and much more. The band interacts with the iPhone and other smartphones, as well as linking up with apps like Lose It! to allow owners to keep up with the number of calories consumed each day.