Customers have been giving increased consideration to health monitoring and augmentation in an attempt to lead healthier lives as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is anticipated that the market for wearable medical devices will skyrocket from its present valuation of USD 27.29 billion in 2022 to a staggering USD 324.65 billion in 2031 as a direct result of the growing demand for these devices. This growth is being driven by the increased trustworthiness and speed of higher-generation networks, such as 5G and higher, as well as the development of new technologies. In addition, emerging markets have been successful in meeting the demand from customers for new opportunities in the healthcare industry. This success can be attributed to the particular requirements and design forms of these markets. This article provides a summary of three of the most popular categories of healthcare wearable devices. Each of these devices can help customers improve their health tracking and personal safety in some way.
Rings for Preventative Care and Sleep Monitoring
Since their introduction, smartwatches have become the de facto standard for on-the-go fitness tracking; while Fitbit may have become the brand name most commonly associated with such watches, Apple, Samsung, and Google all offer competitive options. However, the relative weakness of the signal strength is a basic issue with the wrist as a biomedical monitoring point. Inaccurately regressing trends from massive amounts of data gathered by early watches made them useless to medical professionals.
The biomedical signals in the digits are up to ten times stronger2 than those in the wrist.Designers have created wearable smart rings that use the fingers as the biomedical monitoring point in an effort to better identify and measure the user’s critical health metrics. The ring is equipped with high-precision instruments like thermometers, accelerometers, infrared LEDs, and gyroscopes, allowing it to provide readings on par with those of expensive medical devices.
The wearer of a band can monitor their heart rate, sleep duration, core temperature, movement, and respiration in real time without disturbing their rest. The precision of the electronic parts is crucial, as it allows for more reliable data to be delivered while simultaneously reducing the computational burden by virtue of exact local measurements.
Emergency Bracelets and Pendants
While many healthcare wearables aim for seamless integration into everyday life, healthcare pendants are a new device that could save a senior’s life in an emergency. They can monitor you around the clock, follow your whereabouts with GPS, and even sense if you’ve taken a tumble. Some gadgets can even communicate in both directions with loved ones or emergency services via 5G cellular networks or Wi-Fi®.
Most of the functionality of the bands and pendants can still be used without the user’s hands. For instance, embedded accelerometers help with fall detection, which is especially important for the elderly because 90% of seniors who don’t get medical assistance within six hours end up in a nursing home3.
Transdermal Patches for Medicine Administration
A transdermal patch is another form factor that is causing disruption in the healthcare peripheral technology industry. These patches deliver medication through the skin. These patches hold a predetermined amount of the medication in them, and they release that amount into the bloodstream through the skin on a regular basis. Although the idea behind them is straightforward, transdermal patches can be administered using either an active or a passive method.
The only method of transport utilized by passive systems is that of natural diffusion through the epidermis. Because of this, the administration rate can change depending on the characteristics of the user’s epidermis as well as the specific designs of the patches. On the other hand, the active amount in the body is a more complicated process. This technique may involve the use of microneedles, chemical enhancers, or a gentle electrical current, on the order of 2-10 mA4, to drive the medication into the skin at a predetermined moment. These features enable enhanced personalization of treatment for individual patients.
Iontophoresis is the process by which the electric current delivers the medication into the skin. Iontophoresis requires a direct current because the treatment must be delivered from the patch to the skin in a single direction without any interruptions. A machine is responsible for applying the current, which speeds up the transport of the medication to the skin. This strategy is beneficial for treating ADHD as well as anti-inflammatory conditions because patients have different requirements concerning the quantity of medication that they take.
Aesthetics and price will still play a significant role in determining whether or not a product is adopted by the market, even if there are obvious and necessary advantages, such as healthcare monitoring. There is a good chance that customers will value the benefits, but if using the product is difficult and expensive, they will look elsewhere. Therefore, in order to produce goods that people will actually buy and use, device engineers need to consider how to incorporate the functionality of electronics within the limits of marketing insights. This is necessary so that device engineers can create goods that people will actually buy and use. As soon as this obstacle is removed, widespread use of new wearable healthcare devices will benefit the health of consumers by increasing their access to preventative treatment.
The introduction of the first generation of smartwatches marked the beginning of a new age in wearable health technology. They have improved accuracy, cover a broader range of health concerns, and have emerged as essential aids in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of patients. Wearable technologies give both patients and physicians the ability to take a preventative, non-invasive strategy to bettering their health and overall quality of life.