There are already wearable devices for tracking and managing your health and wellness, but the next generation of these devices will not only be stronger, better, and more accurate, they will share and store their data with you, your healthcare provider or even clinicians at the touch of a button. This kind of access will not only help individuals manage their conditions, or predict worsening conditions, but also provide valuable data in advancing treatments for other patients as well. Some of these up and coming wearable technologies are Sleep Trackers, Glucose Monitors, Blood Pressure Monitors and Sensors that measure blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygenation and respiration.
Men's Health reminds us, in an article, that a good night's rest has numerous health benefits and at it's head lower heart risks. Current versions of sleep monitoring wearable devices really can't track your sleep quality, but they can track movement. Your body enters a state of sleep paralysis when in the dream state, so these devices can track, for the most part, when you are actually asleep. Medical Futurist.com claims that the pairing of Android's Sleep App with a Wearable can give you an even more accurate picture of your quality of sleep by monitoring the sound in the room as you sleep. It can record you snoring or talking in your sleep. As this technology continues to develop, tracking sleep and adjusting our patterns may be an enormous leg up on managing our healthcare ourselves.
There are interesting developments in Wearable Glucose Monitors. Fox News claims Diabetes Patients do not check their glucose levels as often as they are instructed to by their physicians due to the discomfort and hassle of testing one's self. In this same article the author discusses a European technology that measures Glucose levels with a sensor on the back of the arm. However, Med City News suggests a new avenue of detection through heartbeat assessment. Cardiogram and the University of California San Francisco, believe tracking patients heart rate and step count measurements can predict who has undiagnosed diabetes and who may be at risk of developing it. Their study had an 85% accuracy rate in its predictions. This technology has also been studied in helping to diagnose high cholesterol, hypertension, and sleep apnea.
As USA Today points out, Heart Disease is the number 1 killer in America. Add strokes to that number and you have accounted for nearly 3 in 10 American deaths. This article discusses a technology in the works called SensoGram, which measures blood pressure, heart rate, oxygenation and respiration, just like the devices used at the doctors office. Only, this device allows you to measure these things on a daily basis or even around the clock. Omron is also currently working on a wrist watch sized wearable blood pressure monitor. Not to be left out, are the Embedded ECG in your smart wrist watch, the Electrocardiogram App which monitors heart activity just like Doctor's use, is sent an alert from your watches Heart Monitor to tell you to record an ECG rhythm for your doctor.
It is easy to see how these on demand health assessments can save lives, money, and result in better treatment all around. Our only course now is to wait for FDA approval and market availability.