Wearable technology: the future of healthcare

By Lillian McHugh

Wearable technology: the future of healthcare
The future of healthcare looks high-tech, with wearable technology improving wellbeing and reducing the risk of preventable diseases.

While we often associate wearable technology with fitness fanatics who like to track their every step and calorie consumed, recent developments in ‘wearables’ have made them far more consumer friendly and beneficial to leading a healthier life.

With obesity rates rising so quickly, both Australia and New Zealand’s obesity rate has grown by over 80% in the past 33 years, wearable devices have the potential to positively impact consumers to be more involved in their health and wellbeing.

By engaging and empowering users to take an active role in their own wellbeing, wearable technology will ultimately change the future of healthcare. By identifying individual irregularities in body functions, healthcare professionals are able to develop personalised preventative care programs. There is a piece of wearable technology to suit every user, from Samsung’s Gear Fit, which tracks movements and blood pressure, to Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep wristband, which helps make fitness part of your everyday life with real time updates.

“With all the device and genetic data we’re going to get on you, it’s a whole new era of personalised care that’s going to emerge,” says Dr. Kvedar of the Center for Connected Health.

Diabetes patients will benefit from a number of new technologies that monitor their blood glucose levels, deliver insulin and track food consumption, delivering this data directly to their doctors. And now patients can monitor their own health, and educate themselves on how their decisions affect their bodies, from food consumption to the amount of exercise they participate in. By providing goals and challenges, wearable technology makes exercise more engaging. Mobile Apps, such as MobileRun, uses GPS to accurately track and compare exercise efficiently and easily on smartphones through all Fitbit devices.

These devices have the potential to make incredible changes to people’s wellbeing and help influence their decisions, in the hope of improving their health and terminating preventable diseases.



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