By Michael Isberto, blog director, Colocation America.
Technology advancements are helping many industries thrive in the current Computer Age. One of these is the healthcare industry. The advancement in technology within healthcare is more noticeable today especially since some technology is wearable and can be seen on many different people. Some physicians are even monitoring their patients through their patients wearables. This article takes a look at the different types of wearable technology associated with keeping people healthy and examines how people can benefit from it.
One of the most common and noticeable wearable technologies is a fitness tracker. Since the release of the first Fitbit fitness tracker in 2015, people have incorporated these devices into their everyday lives. And since then, many companies have now invested in creating their own activity monitoring wearable devices. These activity monitoring wearable devices have gotten so big that they have even become a fashion statement. The Fitbit Versa, Garmin Vivoactive series, the Nokia Steel HR, and the Apple Watch are just some of the fitness trackers that can be seen on people no matter the occasion. Fitbit has taken it a step further and plans to use Google’s Cloud Healthcare API to help physicians manage their patients remotely.
Eyeglasses for the blind
Fitness trackers are not the only healthcare related wearable technology. Aira has created a pair of glasses to help blind people throughout their day. The Horizon is the first pair of smart glasses designed for remote visual assistance. The Aira kit comes with a pair of glasses, a phone, and accessories to help with connectivity. The glasses have a built-in camera that is connected to an Aira agent that can help walk the user through any obstacles they need assistance with. With a touch of a button, the user will get real-time assistance as needed. When at home, Aira, can help the user do everyday tasks such as sort mail and medications, read recipes, and separate laundry. When at school, Aira can help the user get around the campus, find a seat, choose food at the cafeteria, and read the whiteboard. While at work, Aira, can help the user operate office equipment, interpret presentation slides, and sort papers. Aira can also help users explore the world around them. Aira can help users go on a hike, sightsee a park or zoo, and even help find equipment at the gym. The Aira Horizon can help users enjoy everyday tasks with a different sense of freedom.
Breast cancer-detecting bra
The iTBra by Cyrcadia Health is more than a bra, but a piece of wearable technology that can help women detect breast cancer. Doctors advise women to have an annual mammogram, but many patients still fail to detect tumors early. The dual breast patches in the iTBra monitor circadian metabolic changes in heat, which is related to cellular activity found often in breast tumors. This data is sent to the users’ device, which can be easily shared with the users’ doctor. Cyrcadia believes that this method can help detect cancer in dense breast tissue four to six times better than mammograms. Cyrcadia believes that this can lower avoidable breast biopsies by 1.2 million.
Hip airbags for the elderly
Some companies are focusing their efforts on creating wearable technology for the elderly. Helite, the airbag technology expert, has created the Hip’Safe specifically with seniors in mind. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 300,000 people 65 and older are hospitalized for hip fractures. Helite’s Hip’Safe is a wearable fanny pack looking device that includes houses sensors, an air cartridge, and airbags. When the device detects the user is falling, the airbags on each side will deploy to prevent the user from a serious injury. The Hip’Safe comes at a hefty price tag of about $750, and the unnatural form factor of the product may deter some people from purchasing the product.
Brain health training kits
Certain wearable technologies can also help with brain function. Brain Power is a wearable technology that works with Google Glass is aims to help people on the autism spectrum. The Brain Power kit comes equipped with a Google Glass with brain core applications and a training program. This wearable technology aims to help users on with autism learn social and emotional skills, which can be somewhat difficult for those on the spectrum. The “Empowered Brain” application uses neuroscience studies from MIT and Harvard and is compatible with most languages. Brain Power uses augmented reality and artificial intelligence to help users understand the emotions of those he or she interacts with. Through the brain power applications, autistic users can learn to self-sufficiency which can also help reduce the user’s stress and anxiety. Reports from the application can be seen and shared between parents, teachers, and therapists—This helps the community supporting the user stay on the same page when it comes to working with the user.
BrainPlus is another wearable that can be used to help brain function. This, however, is geared toward helping improve the general population, as well as users who suffer from ADHD and other cognitive disorders by improving concentration, relaxation, and memory. Through games and other training sessions, the user will improve their brain health. The BrainPlus kit comes with an EEG headband, tablet, keyboard kit, and a tablet stand. BrainPlus started on crowdfunding sites Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The desire for this type of technology and what it offers is astounding. On both sites, it has surpassed its goal and has raised over $17,000. Only time will tell how well received it is by its users.
Technology can be very beneficial in many different ways. Many companies in the healthcare industry are finding new ways to implement wearable technology to make people happier, healthier, and safer. From the frequently seen fitness trackers to special bras that detect breast cancer, hip airbags for the elderly, glasses for the blind, and headbands to help with brain function—technology is making a difference in many people’s lives when it comes to their health. The healthcare industry and the technology industry and both taking advantage of this new opportunity, and the world will be better for it.