How Wearables Will Change the Way We Track Our Health in the New Year

When fitness trackers first hit the market, they made a stir because of their ability to track...

Photo credit: Pikist

When fitness trackers first hit the market, they made a stir because of their ability to track our steps. The advent of smartwatches changed all that. In addition to tracking our steps, smartwatches can monitor our heart rate, calories burned, distance traveled and even take ECG readings.

Read more: Remote Patient Monitoring with Wearables – Improving Healthcare at Home and at the Point of Care

Other brands like Oura and Whoop specialize in advanced recovery insights, based on metrics like heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and sleep, reports mbg health. According to research, one in six consumers currently owns and uses wearable technology.

This year, the NBA and WNBA teamed up with Oura to help promote the health and safety of their players, including potentially catching early signs of COVID-19 during their season, such as body temperature changes, according to mbg health.

As the popularity of wearables is rising among healthcare professionals, in the New Year, we might see more and more doctors using wearables to measure the health metrics of their patients.

“Our healthcare system needs to move away from a paradigm of largely reactionary treatment to a more proactive, preventative approach,” says Casey Means, M.D., a health-optimizing physician and co-founder of Levels. “Wearables—coupled with intelligent software—will be a valuable part of this movement.”

Means also thinks there will be more development in biowearables that track internal biomarkers, like Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs). “Having a miniature laboratory on your arm is not science fiction, it’s the near future.”

Personalized medicine physician Molly Maloof, M.D. believes in the New Year we’ll see more at-home labs and testing opportunities. “I’m pretty excited about devices like Vessel which tests urine for health biomarkers. Basically, our home bathroom is going to become our mini lab.”

Read more: Fitbit CEO Reveals He’s Planning to Transform Fitbit To A Digital Healthcare Company

Wearables are fascinating devices, but it’s important to acknowledge that not everyone can afford one. At the same time, not everyone would like to wear one twenty-four hours a day.

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether a wearable device is something from which you would benefit. But seeing their rising popularity, it is safe to say that the wearables of tomorrow will change the way we track our health.

Sam Draper
December 10, 2020

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