Health and Fitness Monitors Get Small… Really, Really, Small

Health and Fitness Bands

By Timothy N. Crammer, CEO at Clinical Biometrics, Inc.

One of the most spectacular innovations in modern history is the ability to enhance our health and healthcare delivery with new health and fitness monitors available today. This follows a general trend where technology is getting smaller and our healthcare is becoming more personalized and more personal. We are now entering the age of nano-sensors and devices and these are really, really, small.

In the past, man has been adorning himself with jewelry and watches for personal decoration and timekeeping. Within the past few years, we have discovered that we can use these watches, bands and glasses by embedding very small sensors to also monitor our health and fitness. Both wearable health and wearable fitness products have made a considerable step towards compactness and efficiency. In most cases, these two products work hand in hand to enhance one’s own health awareness and even guide us with recommendations for more healthy lifestyle choices.

Although the wearable health and fitness market continues to grow at an enormous rate, the healthcare monitoring technology has been getting smaller and smaller with each innovation, and now is reaching the realm of nanotechnology scale becoming even smaller. Nanotechnology is the science of materials manufacturing between 1nm and 100nm. For scale, a standard sheet of newspaper is around 100,000nm thick, and writing paper comes in at around 200,000nm. Really!

A Sensor Array on a Thin-film Skin Patch

With the next generation of wearable health technology reaching these nano scales, it is also becoming more invasive. This new technology will provide greatly enhanced monitoring, and will collect more data for better accuracy and diagnosis. This enhanced health data collection capability will even allow us to predict conditions preventing illness and diseases while we go about our day, and will be invaluable in reporting health data during patient recovery stages and outpatient environments. To accomplish this, the data must be individualized, and stored for historical reference for a view over time. This also allows alerts to be established when readings are abnormal for the specific person being monitored. Although invasive, in the future your personal health data will be secured as it is today with all of the high security measures, however, you will own your health data, and you will grant your physician access to your personal data stores.

How do fitness products differ from wearable health monitoring products?

Wearable fitness products are focused on helping individuals live a healthy lifestyle. For example, it could monitor the water intake in a day, the number of calories burnt in each period as well as the heart rate. It can monitor exercise workouts for data used to optimize the person’s scheduled workout. One can become aware of their health measures and make changes for a healthier lifestyle.

Wearable health monitors are more focused on the prevention of possible diseases and the monitoring of health measurements that are specific to the health needs of that specific person. For example, ClinPatch is a new wearable nano-bio sensor array by Clinical Biometrics, Inc that monitors the clinical data from an individual in real-time and over time. The individual receives the relevant health information from the analyzed data on his or her smartphone or via email. ClinPatch can also alert caregivers or physicians when abnormal conditions for that individual occur. Such information includes levels of activity over time, heartbeat and respiration, blood pressure, blood glucose, blood alcohol level, sensors for very specific blood chemistry, the quality of sleep, and caloric intake and expenditure and the possibilities and uses are endless.

Wearable health monitors are also making diagnosis easier and faster. In the case of ClinPatch, one can retrieve personalized, detailed health data that has been stored for up to a rolling 12 month history. The information provides critical trends for effective diagnosis. In return, it saves both the patient and hospital some cash while ensuring a speedy recovery. Even after the patient has been treated and discharged, it is easy to follow up on his or her progress remotely. This avoids readmissions and saves lives, as well as expenses for the provider, the hospital, and the insurance companies.

As the wearable health and fitness technology gets even tinier, people around the world have a chance to be in charge of their health, own their own health data, and take necessary steps before conditions become severe, potentially preventing diseases like diabetes and possibly dementia. Moreover, the popularity of wearables already today is an indicator of acceptance by our society of wearable devices, and these sensor technologies may speed up the development of the IoT (Internet of things) where appliances, cars and other things will be communicating wirelessly with our cell phones and wearable health devices to potentially enhance healthy lifestyles.

We have now entered the world where connected things with sensors communicate with us and our environments in our best interest.

Best of health, Timothy N. Crammer

References

http://www.sightcall.com/wearable-tech-taking-healthcare-industry/

http://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/essentialguide/Wearable-health-technology-in-medical-and-consumer-arenas

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-beauty/article/1922910/wearable-health-tech-about-get-much-smaller-and-possibly

http://clinbio.us/

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