Fitness trackers, activity trackers, the FitBit, the Apple Watch…whatever your preferred device is or preferred name for it is, they are very common nowadays. People like to try and be fit/more active and these devices help to monitor what they achieve. Normally people focus on metrics such as steps taken, calories burned and distance.
However, in the past, though even the best of these types of wearable fitness trackers have been able to help people improve their fitness – they have often fallen short with actually being able to give real insights into health and well-being that can be acted upon. Insights such as identifying risk factors for conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.
Apple and other companies though are putting into action changes to all that. Apple established a partnership with Stanford in 2017 to bring testing for diabetes to the company’s smartwatch. The tech company have also teamed up with Cardiogram, a brand new company. They are pulling their resources to develop meaningful and practical ways to use data regarding irregular heart rates. It is believed the information could eventually be used to detect all manner of conditions such as atrial fibrillation, sleep apnoea, hypertension and diabetes.
It is encouraging to learn though that Apple is not the only tech company pushing for innovations with GPS trackers and wearables.
2 interesting ways wearables will be used in the future, includes:
• Heart Health Monitoring
• Patient Information Monitoring
Heart Health Monitoring
A person’s heart rate can offer useful insight into their overall health. An accelerated heart-rate, means that a heart attack may be about to happen. While an irregular heart rate could be the signal of various serious conditions. Many fitness activity and GPS trackers feature tracking of heart rates, but most people don’t know how to make the most of this information.
Future activity trackers address these issues. As well as monitoring the heart-rate, the iBeat smart watch will feature a help button that will connect them to a special response centre open 24/7. Jawbone have been pushing for medical health tracking devices. Their UP3 and UP4 bracelets track your heart rate and explain what the numbers mean with regards to your well being and health.
Patient Information Monitoring
While patients are monitored 24/7 while they are in hospital; when they leave that controlled environment, there is no way medical practitioners can track them. MYIA Labs is one company developing technology though that uses a combination of apps and under-bed sensors that monitor respiratory and heart-rate while you are in bed. This information is then collected and used to monitor for CHF(Chronic Heart Failure) and other chronic diseases.
Furthermore the Kardia Band has been designed to take note when atrial fibrillation occurs or there is an irregular heart rate. These can often lead to clotting and even strokes. The idea is that once these signs are detected, the app can send an email to your doctor or you to encourage you to take the appropriate action.
The most common condition that sufferers would benefit from monitoring from activity tracker is diabetes. People with diabetes obviously have to keep track of their glucose levels. Normally this is done by a prick to the finger. New tech developments though could mean that blood is not required. Diabetes Sentry is a piece of tech that can monitor perspiration levels and skin temperatures for signs of any significant drops in the levels of blood glucose. These then alert the user they might require treatment.