Wearable Medical Devices and Sensors: In Fashion and Not Going Out of Style
This is the third in a series of blogs that celebrate a decade in technology innovation in recognition of National HIT Week.
More and more, healthcare is creating a fashion statement all its own with the growing use of wearable medical devices and sensors.
According to IndustryARC, a research and consulting firm, monitoring and diagnostic wearable devices accounted for the majority share (78 %) of the global wearable medical device market in 2014 and are expected to generate revenue of $34.4 billion by 2020.
This explosive growth in the wearable medical devices market is being driven by several factors:
- An increase in health consciousness in the U.S. and globally
- A trend toward moving healthcare out of the hospitals and back to the home setting
- A new generation that is faced-paced and demands immediate results
So, what are some of the devices today’s health conscious Americans are spending their money on? Here are just a few:
- Alerts that are directed to a care provider when a patient falls down
- Bandages that can detect skin acidity levels to determine if a cut is becoming infected
- Devices that continually sense glucose levels for people trying to lose weight or improve athletic performance
- Items that measure posture and vibrate when a person slouches
- Baby monitors that measure respiration, skin temperature, body position, sleep and activity
- Earbuds that measure heart rate
- Devices that measure daily activity levels and calorie expenditures
In addition, other devices encompass a broad range of physiological measurements and, looking to the future, may incorporate functionality such as monitoring and analyzing things such as blood pressure, brain activity, hydration, oxygen levels, radiation exposure, respiration and temperature, to name a few applications.
Whether you are a follower of medical device fashion or not, one thing is certain: wearable technology is shaping a future in which consumers will utilize a plethora of monitoring devices to help maintain their health and fitness. Wearable medical devices are already starting to have a significant impact on consumer health and most likely, will dictate how healthcare is delivered for years to come.