Wearable technology was already quite popular before the onset of the Covid19 pandemic, especially among athletes. But the pandemic accelerated development and interest in this field, and there are now countless wearable gadgets available on the market, from smartwatches and smart rings to sensor patches, tattoos, and items of clothing.
The global wearable technology market was valued at over $61 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a rate of 14.6% from 2023 through 2030, per a report by Grand View Research. Wearables are of particular importance in the healthcare field, as these devices can help medical professionals better serve the needs of their patients. Smartwatches and rings can monitor things like heart rate, sleep patterns, stress levels, glucose levels, and much more, and this data helps doctors monitor the health status of their patients much easier.
What are biowearables?
The latest developments in the field of digital healthcare wearables are biowearables, which go much deeper than smartwatches or rings. They can monitor glucose and lactate levels, ketones, heart rate variability, breath rate, and other in-depth metrics like blood pressure and body temperature, painting a comprehensive picture of the wearer’s health.
How do biowearables work? They’re basically biosensors that collect information from interstitial fluid via a small, flexible insert that sits right beneath the surface of the skin. The data collected by the sensor is sent via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, where the wearer can get comprehensive reports in real time and monitor any changes in their health status.
Benefits of biowearable technology
Biowearable technology is rapidly advancing and has the potential to revolutionize healthcare and wellness in the coming years. The benefits of biowearable technology are still being researched and discovered, but it’s clear that these devices open new doors for the wearer and their healthcare providers. From athletes to people with chronic conditions, everyone can benefit from the technology.
Easy access to data
The most important benefit of biowearable technology is accessibility. The devices monitor the wearer’s metrics in real time, providing crucial insight and suggestions to improve one’s health, and it can serve as a patient history for medical professionals, as well. Whenever a patient must move or switch doctors, their biowearable serves as their comprehensive, up-to-date patient file, streamlining access to crucial and urgent healthcare services.
Simplified, continuous monitoring
Keeping track of different health metrics is essential for athletes or people suffering from chronic conditions like diabetes. Monitoring glucose, stress levels, heart rate variability, and other key metrics can make a significant difference in the evolution of a patient’s health. Biowearables can be used for a wide range of applications including fitness tracking, remote patient monitoring, and early disease detection. That’s what biowearables allow, and they go much deeper than smartwatches or other devices.
The wearer can keep track of their health status and notice any changes or warning signs, which allows healthcare providers to intervene in time and change the course of a treatment, if needed. For athletes, keeping tabs on things like heart rate and cardiovascular health, breath rate, glucose levels, stress levels, and even ketone levels can improve their overall performance.
Another added advantage of biowearables, and wearable technology in general, is that these devices can motivate people to improve their health, make lifestyle changes, eat healthier, and exercise more. It works in a similar way to gamification, challenging the user to complete certain tasks to unlock rewards.
Think of the Apple Watch and the three rings; users receive badges for closing all three rings multiple days in a row, which motivates them to exercise more, stand up from their desk more often, and just move around more in general. Lack of motivation can be a critical detrimental factor, especially for a patient just starting on a weight loss journey, a fitness journey, or a healing process. Wearable gadgets send out reminders and alerts, as well as encouragements, to help the wearer move closer towards their health goal.
One of the most important benefits of biowearables is the fact that the data and insight collected by these devices can help prevent serious health issues through early detection. As the device records unusual spikes or changes in metrics like heart rate or identifies abnormal glucose levels, it can send alerts to the wearer signaling them that they should see a medical professional as soon as possible. By doing this, the wearer can nip unwanted medical issues in the bud, and offer healthcare professionals the opportunity to intervene early, change the course of treatment, increase or decrease dosage, and take any other measures necessary. So biowearable can help to detect potential health issues and provide early warning signs, allowing for prompt intervention before problems become more serious. Additionally, biowearables can be used to track and manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, and aid in rehabilitation after injury or illness.
The biowearable market is becoming a main target for investors in the HealthTech space, due to the invaluable potential that it has for both regular users and medical professionals. Abbott Laboratories was the first-ever healthcare company to headline the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2022, and they announced the upcoming launch of Lingo, a new category of biowearables designed to track various signals in the body, like ketones, glucose, lactate, and in the future, even alcohol levels.
As digital innovation continues, more and more companies are working to develop new devices and technologies that will push HealthTech even further. If you’re thinking of developing a groundbreaking new product in the digital healthcare space, reach out to SMEDIX and let’s figure out how we can turn your concept into reality.