Since the first computer was created, the world has changed a lot. Computers became smaller and more efficient. I want to say even more, that computers became wearable.
Wearable devices, wearable technology, wearable gadgets or wearables are names for one and the same notion. These are names for a small computer or advanced electronic device that is worn or carried on the body. This is the common technology, which gains traction more and more. There are different Wearable devices small enough to wear, but enough powerful to collect and deliver information and compete with the other devices. These devices include smart watches, glasses, fitness trackers, smart jewellery, VR headsets, smart clothing, implantables etc. You wonder, what is actually the difference between wearable devices and nonwearable devices. Wearable technology has actually 2 prominent distinctions:
- The first one is quite obvious, that wearable devices can comfortably be worn on your body or clothes. You can guess it from the name of the notion. E.g. Apple watch looks as a casual watch, but in fact, it’s tiny smartphone with apps on your hand.
- The second is, that wearable devices can provide specific sensory and scanning features. E.g. Fitness trackers, which look actually as a bracelet. They track your activity, pulse and many other rates.
There are a variety of wearable devices such as glasses, bracelets, watches and others, which can be easily putted on and taken off. There are even microchips, which can be implemented to the body. But could you easily get rid of this chip? Well, I don’t think so. If you implement a microchip into your body, will you become a сyborg? Hm, why not? Do you want to be a сyborg? It’s your choice. Actually, wearable devices are up-to-date notion, so, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if implementing something into the body will become a casual thing in couple years. I wonder if it is good or bad, but I surely can say that it’s inevitable. Anyway, we can say that wearable devices have extensive use in different fields, such as medicine, education, fitness, military and others. I think that wearable devices can bring humanity great use. Ten years ago medical engineers were talking about wearable technology which monitor patienthood and vital signs and inform doctors in real time. I think, that such wearable technology will become common occurrence soon and will lead to a great leap in medicine. The potential fields of use are increasing day by day, so it gives unlimited opportunities for humanity.
Wearable technology in medicine
Wearable technology is widely used in medicine now. The most common is virtual doctor’s visit. The data from the wearable device is used for treatment and consulting people during a virtual appointment with the doctor. Actually, constant monitoring vital signs by wearable device improves patient care and helps to find out any slightest anomaly. There is the only one potential problem with wearable technology. It is a battery. There are actually 2 types of batteries 1) battery, which you have to charge 2) battery, which you have to change once a year. I think that the second type is more comfortable, because charging your device may become a problem. I hope, that scientists will find the solution of this problem soon. Also, a problem of data security is current too.
Actually, wearable devices are not something new. They’ve appeared decades ago. As you can read above, wearable technology can be an advanced electronic device. So, the very first wearable devices appeared in far 1990th. There was electronic watch with built in calculator. Then Bluetooth Headset appeared in 1999, which became the next generation of wearable technology. After that, we see GoPro in 2004 and later other wearable devices fill the market more and more.
Let’s go into details and see what are smart devices and how they’re useful through the Apple Watch.
Let’s go into Apple Watch. I think it’s a good sample of wearable device, which has advanced functions.
- Apple Watch works as a usual smartphone and you can call, text and do other stuff, which it provides.
- The first identity of this wearable device, which I want to highlight is taptic engine. E.g. Smartphones use sound and vibration to notify you about the incoming call, message or smth else. Apple Watch touches your hand and has the taptic engine, so you feel the notification and can easily distinguish alarm and message notification.
- Apple Watch has a really comfortable in use alarm, because you can easily turn it off with one touch. There is no need to look for the phone with an annoying ringtone to turn the alarm off, because wearable technology is on your hand and you can easily turn it off with one touch.
- Apple Watch can double as an activity tracker to measure your workouts, track your activity, and encourage your healthy routine. Apple Watch has an app Activity. This app tracks 3 specifications. There are move, exercise and stand. So, the app tracks your activity and you get info about your daily activities. Also, this wearable technology has an app Workout. This app counts burnt calories and covered distance.
Wearable technology is new tech area, which is upcoming. We already have great samples of wearable technology, such as, Apple Watch, Google Glass, Samsung Gear VR etc. Scientific evidence available proving that the application of such technologies improves patient satisfaction or care in medicine. I hope, that further studies and new wearable devices will improve medicine and many other areas of life.