Wearables are electronic devices and "wearable" devices, that is, they are incorporated over some part of our body to perform a specific task. Clothing, watches, glasses, bracelets or tattoos, wearables have been oriented in the market in five large groups: health, sports and welfare, entertainment, industrial or military. Thus, at present there is no doubt that wearable technology serves to help the patient control many aspects of their health, such as heart rate, sleep quality, blood sugar levels and even depression.
In fact, according to the report "Citizens before e-health" of the National Observatory of Telecommunications and the Information Society (ONTSI), there is an increasingly direct and usual use of this type of technology in chronic disorders or serious that affect the health of patients, aimed at recording their health status to be shared with the doctor and improve adherence to treatment. Diabetes, cardiovascular or neuromuscular diseases are three of the examples pointed out in the report.
It is difficult to establish a classification of wearables that currently exist in the health sector, because it is a market still in development, to which these devices perform multiple tasks, so that the same device can be classified as wearable health or entertainment, since different types of wereables can monitor the same disease.
Smart watches and bracelets
Watches and smart wristbands are the devices that have achieved the most popularity. Among its functions, they allow to monitor the heart rate, glucose levels, the steps that occur during the day, the hours of sleep during the night, the calories consumed by the user or monitor blood pressure. All these data are stored and recorded in mobile apps, with which the patient can share their data with the doctor, improving monitoring and adherence to treatment.
An example of the potential of these devices is a new smart watch that helps manage seizures suffered by patients with epilepsy. Embrace, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), uses artificial intelligence to detect epileptic seizures and seizures in the patient, automatically alerting a health professional or the person designated to help him.
Despite the fact that the well-known Google Glass have not had the expected impact in the health sector, the so-called smart glasses were designed with the objective of health professionals testing certain techniques, to support the treatment of some diseases or to retransmit interventions Surgical live. They can also help people who are blind or have low vision.
An example of this is MyEye 2.0, wearable created by the company OrCam Technologies that allows users, through a series of algorithms and artificial intelligence, to hear what they can not see. Thus, the device reads printed and digital texts, recognizes colors, bills in progress, faces or street names and identifies products in the supermarket.
Adhering to the body, they are able to measure body temperature, body moisture, air flow, vital signs, brain activity or sleep quality level. Ultra-thin and breathable devices allow a long follow-up of the patient without being annoying. However, these devices have taken a step forward to prevent inflammation or discomfort in the skin due to its adherence. An example of this is the electronic tattoo. Created by scientists from the University of Tokyo (Japan) that monitors vital signs allowing the skin to perspire, which prevents any inflammation of the skin. This mechanism is composed of nanometer-scale gold rods, integrated in a soluble polymer.
"Sensory" clothing can be useful beyond its functions to measure exercise and calories burned. Among its health applications, highlights the smart shirt created by the Carlos III University of Madrid. The device allows the specialists to keep a daily follow-up in order to obtain a medical-grade electrocardiographic record, measure the rhythm of breathing, body temperature and even know if the patient is standing, walking, lying, asleep or if has fallen. With the contribution of the company Nuubo, the goal of wearable is clear: to ensure the safety of patients with heart problems while performing physical exercise.
As we mentioned at the beginning, there are certain wearables that are difficult to classify due to their special singularity. Among them, a device that can detect depression, developed by researchers at the University of Michigan, in the United States. Thus, the chip is placed on the patient's shoulder and, by radio waves, monitors habits such as eating, drinking, coughing or talking. All these data are transmitted to a health professional and can provide valuable information to detect depression as eating disorders and even obesity, diabetes or asthma.
Source: Salud Digital