Wearable electronics and its benefits

In a short time, wearable devices became an integral part of people’s daily lives. Today, the day is almost unimaginable without some of these devices, which help people and improve their quality of life.

Wearable electronics are smart electronic devices (electronic devices with micro-controllers and biosensors which includes ASIC chip) constantly worn by a person close to and/or on the surface of the skin and should be designed to be as unobstructive as clothing, to detect, analyze, and transmit information which allow, in some cases, even immediate feedback to the wearer or where needed.

They are designed with a set of tasks to fulfill one or more specific needs of common consumer or a specific target group.

Wearable devices can be classified by function, appearance, body closeness, and other parameters.

  • Smartwatches are the most known and most used wearables today. First and foremost, they are digital watches, but they can run applications that are used on smartphones (read and send new messages, initiate and answer phone calls without using the mobile phone), play digital media (like music, video), get a weather report, dictate email or text messages, can collect data about the wearer’s health, heart rate e.g., to provide wearer GPS data with walking or driving directions, etc….
  • Smart Jewelry are smaller wearables like rings, necklace, bracelets, earrings. They are stylish, worn like standard jewelry and have a variety of functions: can vibrate when you get a phone notification, they can collect health-tracking data (steps, calories, heart rate) that can be reviewed on a smartphone later, etc.
  • Fitness Trackers monitor and trace fitness-related metrics such as distance walked or run, heart rate, calories burned, and a range of other fitness metrics. The distinction between fitness tracking devices and smartwatches has become very small, but fitness trackers tend to be cheaper, as they have comparatively fewer features.
  • Implantables aresmall devices with huge potential. They make contact with the user’s body from the inside of it. Nowadays, pills containing sensors exists, and they can monitor various health metrics in order to help people with a better living, like blood pressure e.g. After swallowing the pill, patient can wear an external device to monitor data generated within the body.
  • Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) are small computer displays you wear on your head, usually mounted on a helmet or integrated into eyeglasses. An HMD has many uses including aviation, engineering, medicine and gaming.
  • Smart Clothing monitors the wearer’s physical conditionby making contact with a larger amount of one’s body. It can provide deeper insights than smaller wearables can, enabling advanced tracking for both medical care and lifestyle improvement. Smart shirts and body suits provide biometric data, such as pulse rate, temperature, muscle stretch, heart rhythm and physical movement and the data are transmitted via Bluetooth e.g., to an application in real time. Smart shirts, pants, jackets, socks, swimming suits, shoes, etc. could help people prevent heart failure, relax their muscles, manage diabetes and improve their overall quality of life.
  • Wearable Medical Devices usually consists of one or more biosensors to monitor various physiological data for disease prevention and early diagnostics. They are grouped with other wearable equipment, such as smart clothes, smart watches, activity monitors to help collect relevant patient health data using non-invasive device with sensors.

There are many health benefits of wearable electronics. They encourage proactive health care, keeps patients engaged, performs many functions, can monitor most vulnerable patients, and, in this way, both healthcare providers and employers have benefit.

Currently, when people experience some health issue, they go to see the doctor to check it out.

Using wearables is a more proactive approach to monitor health, especially for people who are already prone to health problems. Irregularities can be detected in the early stage before they become serious problems.

By using wearables people became more engaged with their own health to monitor themselves. Data are continuously collected from the device in real-time and informs users about their health condition.

Wearables help patients feel like they are in control of their own health by allowing them to monitor themselves instead of having their data collected only by doctors’ tests.

Nowadays, most fitness trackers can monitor things like heart rate, activity levels, and sleep quality, among others. In this way, users can, based on the collected data, notice when problems appear, or things seem irregular and pay more attention to their health and go to the doctor on time.

Using wearable tech can also save money in the healthcare system. Using wearable tech to encourage more exercise and better sleep patterns, helps patients become healthier and reduce strain on the healthcare system.

Research shows that employers also benefit by having employees use wearables – employees are healthier due to their use.

There is a wide range of wearables on the market for various uses, especially in the medical field: wearable bio sensors which are used to monitor heart rate and respiratory rate; devices that continuously monitor glucose levels by using a sensor placed under the skin connected to a smartphone; electronic smart hearing aids… etc.

The use of wearable devices to monitor patient data over a long period of time helps healthcare professionals have a better insight into the problems affecting the patient and to make a more accurate diagnosis than they would have without using the device.

Wearables can be used to monitor vulnerable family members like aging parents or children from a distance, to monitor patient’s recovery when they return home after surgery, to monitor vulnerable patients who are prone to medical issues, if they are at risk but not seriously ill enough to be in the hospital and ensure no complications occur.

All these multiple features and functionalities of wearable items can be wonderful aids for both medical professionals and individuals because of their accuracy and ease of use. One can expect their increasing use in everyday life in the future.

Lung diseases can cause big problems for people. Today, lung function is monitored in hospitals with devices that are massive, expensive and difficult to use. WELMO vest is a wearable system with sensors designed to monitor lung work continuously and in real-time for patients with chronic lung problems in the comfort of their home.

We hope that with the growing interest in using wearables WELMO vest will find its place and help people maintain their health.

Marija Rakovic

ELSYS Eastern Europe DOO