The Future Of Digital Health And How To Benefit From Fitness Wearables Today
None of us knows what the future holds — especially when it comes to technology. I bet ten years ago you could hardly imagine being attached to your phone and running all kind of errands on it.
And when it comes to wearables, like so many others, you probably thought these babies were just going to be a craze. But these smart gadgets are more popular than ever and can do just about anything from monitoring activity to maintaining our safety.
In case you’re still sceptical about getting one for yourself, let me cover some benefits of fitness devices for you.
1. Customized Information
Fitness trackers can gather various physiological facts about you and provide you with individualised fitness and health reports. This data can play a crucial role in your body awareness today and even more important one — in future.
2. Internet of Things (IoT)
Wearables are going to play a big part in the IoT as these devices will have the ability to link and “talk” to other gadgets within your local environment meaning that you’ll be able to control things remotely.
3. Hands-Free Usability
This is a great feature that allows you to filter your messages and notifications, so you don’t need to check your phone every 10 minutes. In my case, Apple Watch lets me know when there are incoming messages and calls as I tend to switch both my ringtone and vibration off completely.
4. Personal Assistant
Wearables were developed to help make our day-to-day functions easier. The theory was that your crucial information was supposed to be at your fingertips which make us more efficient and productive.
Now, how about the Cons?
1. Charging & Battery Life
As of now, you will most probably need to charge your device via dongle or cable or, in the best case scenario, change a battery every 6 months.
2. Accurate Data
Manufacturers continuously work on making their measurement and retrieval of data more accurate. But there is still some work to be done.
3. Usability Obstacles
When a particular device is new to the market, there are going to be some bumps in the road like a difficult user interface or bulky sizes.
So what’s expected to pop up in the future for wearables?
Upcoming Trends For Wearables
1. Virtual Reality
It appears that Google Glass was ahead of its time because now big tech companies are investing in virtual reality technology. VR may still be mainly used for video games for now, but it’s just a matter of time until that technology enters our day-to-day life. Imagine things like virtually attending a fitness class, watching movies, courtside seats at a basketball game, conducting a virtual meeting and so much more. Don’t believe me? Check Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote on the subject.
2. 3D Bioprinting
3D Bioprinting is the procedure of utilizing a 3D printer to create living organs and tissue that can save a life. Anyone that’s on a transplant list won’t have to wait for a viable donor!
3. Smarter Fashion
Wearables aren’t going to be just for wrists anymore! Some moguls like Under Armor have invested in smart clothing that is intended to measure your heart rate, steps, breathing rate and much more.
It doesn’t stop there, and we could end up feeling a bit like James Bond with something called smart contact lenses. Samsung is the creator of this nifty item that captures and projects images directly into the user’s eyes (now that’s a Black Mirror kind of stuff).
4. More Concentration on Personal Safety
As you read the trends, you’ll probably notice that most of them are intended for bettering yourself beginning inside your body and working outward. But there are also wearables that help you stay safe. Things like a panic button built in a ring, necklace, or watch will provide you with better security.
Okay, this doesn’t mean real invisibility like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak — although we wouldn’t mind having one of those, would we? Companies want you to get the most use you can out of your wearable; they know that for you to use their gadget, it needs to be visually appealing and comfy. So they’re inventing ways to incorporate these devices into items you use each day such as clothing, keychains or jewellery.
6. More Extensive Fitness Tracking
There’s plenty of fitness trackers nowadays that can do many things, but there are always ways to improve them. The info tracked by your fitness device can be advanced with the third-party software integration which will assist in connecting the dots between sleep, chronic diseases, activity level and nutrition. For example, there’s the Netatmo June Bracelet that measures your sun exposure and urges you to smear on sunscreen to decrease the risk of skin cancer (I know quite a few people that desperately need one of those;).
7. Pet Tracking
If you own a pet, you can rest easy knowing your fur-baby will be taken care of with a smart collar. This neat item uses GPS and is created to monitor and log your pet’s wellness statistics, activity level and more.
8. Wearable Healthcare
Today, it’s all about everyone fitness tracking. But in the future, companies are believed to move their focus from fitness to overall healthcare. Wearable tech like smartphone-control hearing aids, vital sign monitors for newborns and more could become a reality very soon. Take a revolutionary Proteus Discover — an ingenious system that consists of an ingestible pill and a wearable patch. This pill has microscopic sensors hidden in it that’ll convey your biometric data to the patch, allowing doctors to view your health and activity habits and provide you with a proper treatment plan.
When you think of digital health, no doubt the first thing that enters your mind is fitness trackers and electronic health records. But this market is already coming up with innovative things that go far beyond sharing patient information.
As they continue to invent healthcare applications, quality assurance, and vigorous testing are critical to patient’s well-being, safety, and health.
A wide range of new health wearables and apps are expected to hit the market sometime in the future.
And here are just a few things that will enter our daily lives:
1) If you take prescriptions, you could have a pillbox that’s Bluetooth-enabled and reminds you when you need to take your medication.
2) Or what about a device that tracks breathing rate, heart rate and temperature 24/7?
3) Another potential invention is a wristband that relieves your nausea without the use of medication (can I pre-order one of these right now, please?).
4) It’s also possible that if you have diabetes, you could get a mobile app that monitors your blood sugar and will automatically alter your insulin levels.
5) Likewise, there could be a way for doctors to take the activity level info that’s retrieved from your fitness tracker and connect it to your insurance premium, thus, giving you the incentive to get fit.
By the way, the sooner you start developing a habit of monitoring your health and fitness stats, the better care you will get in future. So I urge you to check out our digital health platform we’ve been working so hard to create for the past 3 years to get into that monitoring and vital data aggregating habit.
After all, your health is your most crucial asset.
While we watch the health care system evolve, the app creators must concentrate on ensuring quality engineering methods for patient’s privacy and safety. All smart devices in the health field will need to work by themselves and “talk” with one another, so it’s essential that company standards are high. Industries will keep inventing new ways to connect smart items to the healthcare field. Thus, making healthcare more manageable, accessible and eventually providing a higher quality of patient (or, in the nearest future — user’s) care.
Technology, on the whole, is growing by leaps and bounds every year and the tech for wearables is growing just as fast. And from where I stand, the future of fitness and health wearables is quite promising.