A Healthy Dose Of Wearables

A Healthy Dose Of Wearables

Source: ACM

The idea of carrying around a small device to monitor a person’s health and spot potential medical problems is not new. From the 1960s television show Star Trek, which featured a fictional handheld scanning device called the Tricorder, to more recent smartwatches and wearable devices, portable technology that aims to improve medicine and healthcare has advanced steadily. However, wearables are now reshaping medicine in significant ways. Last September, for example, Apple announced it had received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to include medical-grade heart monitoring features in its Series 4 Apple Watch. This included an electrocardiogram (EKG), along with the ability to detect irregular heartbeats. In addition, the watch detects falls and can alert emergency responders if such an event takes place. Manufacturers are also introducing glucose and blood-pressure monitoring, breast cancer detection, and more advanced sleep monitoring and feedback into wearables. Embedded sensors, along with wireless technology and the Internet of Things, are pushing the boundaries of medicine into new frontiers.

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