Healthcare wearables provide doctors with real-time updates on their patients’ vital signs, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, oxygen levels, heart rate, and much more. Effective monitoring improves diagnoses, which results in timely care when required.
Healthcare wearables track vital signs, activity levels, and provide real-time feedback and personalized health insights. By alerting potential health issues early, they improve diagnoses and treatment plans, and make healthcare more accessible and effective.
My interest in wearables was sparked 10 years ago when I was introduced to fitness watches by my HR department at a previous company, Tech Mahindra. The usage of the fitness watch was brought in as a employee challenge, monitoring activities of 100 employee over a period of 3 months and rewarding the one who was most active. Since then, I have been personally using fitness watches for personal wellness and transitioned into a health watch very recently, which have given me valuable insights into the benefits of these devices.
In addition to my personal experience, I have also developed and launched 2 always on connected health-based devices in my previous role as Chief Product Officer. This experience has allowed me to understand the technical challenges involved in creating wearables that are secure, reliable, and meet the demands of both patients and healthcare providers. With my extensive experience in the field, I am passionate about exploring the advancements, challenges, and future trends of healthcare wearables.
The top use cases for healthcare wearables in the enterprise space have evolved significantly over the years. Most people think of wearables as fitness trackers and smartwatches. However, with the advancement of technology and the integration of health sensors into CPUs, we are now seeing a transformation of wearables into healthcare devices.
Wearables will enable instant access to patients’ vitals and the ability to prevent a lot of emergency situations that can occur with lack of data. Some of the top use cases for healthcare wearables are remote patient monitoring (RPM), senior care, outpatient care, virtual clinical trials, and direct assistance with primary care physicians (PCPs) through voice or video chat.
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Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) has been one of the most prominent use cases for healthcare wearables. With RPM, patients can continuously monitor their health conditions, and healthcare professionals can monitor and intervene when necessary.
Wearables can help monitor senior patients’ health and prevent falls or other emergency situations that can occur with a lack of data.
Outpatient care post-surgery is another area where healthcare wearables have been utilized. Patients can monitor their vital signs and other health metrics remotely, reducing the need for frequent hospital visits.
Wearables are also playing an important role in virtual clinical trials. Patients can participate in clinical trials from the comfort of their own homes, and healthcare professionals can monitor the results remotely.
Patients can receive immediate assistance and support from their doctors without the need for an in-person visit. This can help reduce healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes.
Looking ahead, we expect healthcare wearables to be one of the major disruptors in the healthcare industry over the next five years. Wearables can take different form factors based on their intended usage or target use case. They can be in the form of a watch, band, patch, or pendant.
There are still significant engineering challenges that need to be addressed when developing healthcare wearables. One of the most significant challenges is developing a form factor that appeals to all age and sexes. Battery life is also critical, as it needs to fit the appropriate use case and audience. Additionally, the price or cost to the consumer or customer needs to be taken into consideration. Data security and privacy are also major concerns, as is reliability.
To address these challenges, we are working closely with clients to ensure the wearables are aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. We are also developing a low-power architecture, implementing robust security measures, conducting extensive testing, and partnering with healthcare providers to ensure the wearable is designed to meet the needs of both patients and providers. By addressing these challenges, we can create healthcare wearables that are attractive, reliable, secure, and useful for both patients and healthcare providers.
When developing healthcare wearables, it is essential to adopt certain key approaches. One such approach is implementing a common platform strategy that allows for flexibility across various use cases. This enables leveraging the benefits of a unified platform.
Another crucial approach involves prioritizing specific features that enhance the functionality and usability of healthcare wearables. These features include optimizing battery performance, ensuring reliability, incorporating advanced sensors, and emphasizing robust security measures. By focusing on these aspects, developers can create wearables that meet high standards of performance and user satisfaction.
Engaging with clients and understanding their unique needs and use cases is also vital. This approach allows for tailoring the development process to address specific requirements, ensuring that the wearables are tailored to the intended users and their healthcare providers.
Security is of utmost importance when it comes to healthcare wearables. Implementing rigorous security measures, both in hardware and software, helps safeguard the sensitive data collected by the wearables. This includes encrypting data if it leaves the device and adhering to industry standards such as HIPAA compliance to protect patient privacy.
By following these approaches during the development of healthcare wearables, developers can create innovative and reliable products that contribute to improved patient care and healthcare outcomes.
In conclusion, developing healthcare wearables requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. By leveraging a common platform strategy, prioritizing key features, engaging with clients, and emphasizing robust security measures, developers can create innovative wearables that enhance patient care and improve healthcare outcomes. With a focus on usability, reliability, and data security, healthcare wearables have the potential to revolutionize the way we monitor and manage our health.