Following the COVID-19 outbreak, customers have given increased consideration to health monitoring and augmentation in an effort to lead healthier lives. This is driving the wearable healthcare products market to explode, from an estimated $27.29 billion in 2022 to an expected $324.65 billion in 20321. This expansion is being fueled by the improved dependability and speed of 5G and higher networks, as well as the evolution of new technologies. In addition, emerging markets have been able to meet customer demand for new opportunities in the healthcare sector because of the sector’s unique requirements and design forms. This article provides a summary of three of the most popular categories of healthcare wearable devices, all with the goal of enhancing users’ capacity for monitoring and safety.
Rings for Preventative Care and Sleep Monitoring
Wearable health trackers have typically taken the form of smartwatches; products from Apple, Samsung, and Google offer excellent, widely accessible alternatives to the market leader, Fitbit. However, the relative weakness of the signal strength is a basic issue with the wrist as a biomedical monitoring point. The massive amounts of data gathered by early watches and the regressed trends were of dubious quality, rendering them useless to medical professionals.
Finger biomedical impulses are up to ten times stronger than those at the wrist2.Designers have created wearable smart rings that utilize the finger as the biomedical monitoring point, with the goal of improving the detection and measurement of the user’s critical health metrics. The ring is equipped with high-precision instruments like thermometers, accelerometers, infrared LEDs, and gyroscopes, allowing for measurements on par with those made by medical grade devices.
Wearing a ring is much more pleasant than a chest strap or wristband to track your heart rate, sleep, temperature, movement, and breathing while you sleep. The precision of the electronic parts is crucial because it allows for more precise data to be delivered while greatly reducing the computational burden due to precise local measurements.
Emergency Bracelets and Pendants
A healthcare pendant is a new device that can help seniors in emergency situations, while many other wearables aim for seamless integration into everyday life. They can monitor you around the clock, follow your whereabouts with GPS, and even sense when you’ve taken a tumble. Additionally, some devices have the ability to communicate in both directions with loved ones or emergency workers via 5G cellular networks or Wi-Fi®.
Bracelets and necklaces are worn on the body and are therefore operated without the user’s hands, but the underlying technology is largely the same. For instance, embedded accelerometers help with fall detection; this is especially important for the elderly, as 90% of them wind up in a nursing home if they don’t get medical help within six hours.
Transdermal Patches for Medicine Administration
Transdermal patches, which are applied to the skin and release medication in that way, are another game-changing form factor in healthcare peripheral technology. These patches are loaded with a set amount of medication and release it gradually into the body through the epidermis. Although the idea is straightforward, transdermal patches can be administered in either an active or inactive fashion.
Those using passive systems depend solely on the skin’s natural ability to dissipate the substance. As a result, the rate of administering can change based on the user’s skin type and the specifics of the patch. Active dose, on the other hand, is more convoluted once inside the body. Microneedles, chemical enhancers, or electrical current on the scale of 2-10 mA4 can be used in this method to puncture the skin and inject the medication at the prescribed time. With these additions, healthcare providers will have more options to tailor their services to individual patients.
Iontophoresis, the method by which the medicine is delivered into the skin via electric current, calls for unidirectional current to flow from the patch to the epidermis. Applying the current mechanically speeds up the absorption of the medicine through the epidermis. This method is helpful for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and reducing inflammation because patients’ dosage requirements differ.
Despite the obvious usefulness of consumer products in fields like healthcare monitoring and administration, aesthetics and price will still play major roles in their widespread acceptance. Customers will weigh the benefits against the device’s price and aesthetics, and they won’t be impressed if it appears and feels like a meter. Therefore, device engineers must think about incorporating electronics’ functionality within the bounds of marketing insights to create goods that consumers will actually utilize. Once that barrier is removed, widespread use of new wearable healthcare devices will improve consumers’ health by expanding their access to preventative treatment.
Since the first smartwatches appeared, wearable health gadgets have made great strides. They have improved accuracy, cover a wider range of health issues, and have become indispensable for users in need of both preventative and curative care. Physicians and patients alike can depend on wearable devices to improve their quality of life in a non-intrusive, proactive manner as healthcare technology continues to advance.