While privacy concerns, accuracy of data collected, and FDA approval are all concerns in wearable technology, interest in clinical use of the devices has already begun. Some devices in use include:
Compact electrocardiogram monitor. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease and stroke are the two cause of death in American adults. Cardiovascular monitoring is vital to diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, and remote patient monitoring assists with this effort.
Wristband to monitor epileptic seizures. A device which can detect seizures in patients who have epilepsy can be used to record the time of the seizures, which will be useful to the healthcare provider, and also to reach an emergency contact to alert them a seizure has occurred. Activity monitored includes heart rate, oxygenation, and electrodermal activity.
Patch to detect sleep apnea. Usually, tests for sleep apnea involve a sleep study, or spending a night in the lab. Easier for the patient is a patch they wear instead. The patch monitors nasal pressure, blood oxygen saturation, pulse, respiration, sleep time and body position. Healthcare providers can use this data to diagnose, treat and determine the severity of the sleep apnea.
Wearable technology in the future of healthcare can have a role in preventive healthcare, determining problems at an early stage and lowering hospitalization rates and healthcare costs.