The COVID-19 pandemic came as a boon in disguise for smart wearables, which were already driving a considerable change in healthcare in the pre-COVID era. It gave a mammoth opportunity to the sector to invade households and become a routine regime for monitoring of overall wellness.
In healthcare, wearable technology is defined as a non-invasive and autonomous device that can analyze, record, and aggregate physiological data to improve personal health and well-being. The global boom induced by the pandemic has led to a surge in the development and adoption of wearable devices. The sale of wearable health gadgets has scaled faster than anyone could have imagined. Their utility is not just limited to the public, but even physicians, surgeons and insurance companies are leveraging this innovation. Clearly, they are altering the dynamics of the whole healthcare industry.
The changing doctor-patient relationship
These days, the relationship between physicians and patients has become consultative instead of hierarchical. In fact, for doctors, the remote monitoring of patients’ health has become far easier as wearables have dramatically improved in accuracy and reliability, in some cases even meeting clinical standards.
These devices offer a range of benefits to patients and healthcare professionals and are changing how healthcare is delivered. Instead of patients being dependent on doctors for assessment of vital health parameters, wearable devices are helping patients keep a track of their health stats on a regular basis and report them as per requirement.
The devices even remind patients to take their medication on time and stay physically active, which helps patients adopt a suitable routine prescribed after a check-up or during treatment. Since wearables provide patients with medication and regimen reminders, as well as information on healthy lifestyles, patients are finding it a lot easier to adhere to advised routines. Various wearable devices are available today, from fitness trackers to smartwatches, and as technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more such gadgets with new features.
The advancement in wearable technology and growing demand from consumers to take control of their own health have influenced the industry, insurers, and service providers to develop more wearable devices and innovate the popular ones.
Once only used to count steps and tell time, smartwatches have now transformed into clinically viable healthcare tools. New features such as blood oxygen saturation monitor, native sleep-tracker, faster FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, upgraded heart health monitor and fall detection are being introduced on a regular basis.
From reactive care to preventive care
Probably, the most valuable aspect of wearable technologies and health tracking devices is their ability to provide predictive analytics. This aids healthcare service providers in providing proactive services instead of reactive care. The real-time data on vital signs and health status allows care providers to keep a track of patients’ vital indicators and prevent serious health issues in the future. The latest gadgets not only remotely assess and monitor blood pressure, heart rate, glucose levels, and oxygen levels etc., alerts can also sent to clinics in case any irregularities are detected.
Decentralization is the future
The future of smart wearables envisages decentralization of healthcare by empowering users to take charge of their well-being. The role of technology in primary and critical care will see a drastic shift in the coming years. As we look at the future, the wearable healthcare technology market is sure to witness a big surge, helping patients monitor their heath in a better manner and reducing their dependence on healthcare professionals to a certain extent.