Sam, a patient of clinical depression has only medication to save him which improve his moods and get him to do things. No medication, no life in short is what life is for him. But he has one problem. Besides depression, he has laziness and absent mindedness to keep him company. In sum, he skips taking medication because either he forgets or feels lazy to do so. Life for him is thus a continuous fight with his own self, part of it inadvertent and part self-created. Science thankfully has a way to cure him of this and get him to take the medication in right doses at the right time! Wearable patches & devices from the likes of Proteus Digital Health of the US who are said to have developed a combination of medicines (pills in this case) with sensors which send signals to a wearable patch which itself transmits information to a smartphone-based app that give accesses to caregivers and physicians about the status of medicines and when it was taken! Now the likes of Sam shall forever be on the radars of the medical system who can instantly detect him going slack + know all about his mood-swings and related conditions!
And that, is the power of wearable medical devices. They go where no man (or woman) has ever gone before and also bring change in the field of active health-care like never, ever before! And they aren’t the only ones. Sample a few others mentioned below.
Wearables to detect cancer cells in the blood!
Circulating tumor cells or CTC is the stuff that full-bodied metastases stage cancer cells shed into the blood streams which going forward transform themselves into full-bodies cancer cells which itself shead even more CTC. With time CTC go from the blood-cells into organs and create havoc there. If left unattended, CTC can pretty quickly overwhelm any body by the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. The best time to get them is when they are yet in the blood-streams i.e., till they are yet CTCs. And that, is easier said than done as it means taking blood sample very often and investigating them for cancer cells. That could well be a thing of the past with pioneering efforts of the University of Michigan’s wrist-worn devices designed to continuously monitor the blood-streams for CTCs which is said to screen the wearer’s blood every few hours for CTC. Coupled with an app in the wearer’s mobile phone, it could continuously keep track of cancer cells and not let them raise their heads ever!
Wearable Sweat-Sensor for Athletes which inform on water and electrolyte levels!
There’s nothing like a good run to get the system going. And there’s nothing like a good run to get the juices flowing which invariably includes water in the form of sweat and with it, electrolytes including essential salts and sugar. One group that needs to know this continuously are athletes, more so long distance runners who sometimes get into places where getting both water and essential salts could be next to impossible. To their aid comes a water-proof patch in the form of a bandage with built-in sensors that warn right in time way before things hit the extremes. Mind you, such a patch also helps swimmers! With pores on the side which comes in contact with the skin, it has very fine sensors which analyse the sweat on many parameters to arrive at issues like dehydration.
The FDA BREAKTHROUGH DEVICE,
the AWAK PD is Singapore’s contribution to the making of a breakthrough device of immense help to renal failure/ kidney failure patients. It’s a wearable and portable dialysis device which uses AWAK’s patented sorbent technology and offers a very convenient method of Peritoneal dialysis which allows patients to perform dialysis while on the go without the need to visit hospitals and dialysis centres for therapies and assistance. Results have shown conclusively that the AWAK PD removes accumulated waste and filters blood sufficiently with patients experiencing no adverse reactions either during or after the intervention!
The Anywhere BioPatch which patches up life from Zephyr Anywhere
The true BioPatch which sits where it matters most, on a wearers heart, this is one set of wearables that continuously tracks patients’ health almost by the seconds and send vital information about heart-rate, pumping rhythm, any anomalies and similar information round the clock to monitor the patients’ vitals. In doing so, they save precious time in bringing patients to the medical facility well in time for a preventive intervention to be administered with speed.
Patient Identity Systems from Zebra Technologies
Close to 60% of deaths in hospitals while under care even in countries like the US with advanced medical care is the result of error in judgement due to the lack of information about the patient when brought into the medical facility, more so in times of emergency. The fact is fairly straight. What do you do with someone whose identity or medical conditions you do not know in the first place but has been put before you in a life-threatening condition? Steps taken despite the best of intention and knowledge may result in complications and even death. What then do you do? You take the help of the likes of Zebra Technologies who specialize in creating wearable devices which improve patient identity management. At the heart of this is a RFID-based wristband which contains health-related records besides images digitally enhanced. Medical staff including Doctors only need to scan the RFID tags with whichever gadget has a scanner to get all the latest healthcare information. This is very, very essential where the person comes to the medical facility in a state where he/ she is not in a condition to inform the medical practitioners of his/ her prevailing condition.
On how wearable devices help, the following points are worth noting:
- They bring health and fitness back into focus! Humanity has had its run after money, earned lots of it, most at a very high price without even realizing that our health has slipped right past us. With the advent of wearable devices, we can continue working hard without worrying because these devices inform us right on time about what we ought to do and when and how! In doing so, it lets us be optimal with respect to our activities while also informing us to take care of our health well in time.
- They help reduce health-related expenditure! Diabetes is a killer worldwide with numbers growing exponentially with no real medical cure in sight as of now. What though might work is to be aware and take timely care. In doing so, the price you pay to get treated goes down to a fraction of its normal cost. And while doing so, people remain productive as the problem is caught and treated in the nick of time instead of letting it fester and then trying to find a solution which is both difficult, and time consuming, and most of all extremely expensive with very limited results.
- They help wearers remain fit and active for a much long time in life! By being informed well in time, diseases themselves get cured well in time. With time to recover being in the state where things come back to normal rather easily, life in its later stages remains disease free for much longer. Life actualy becomes happy towards the end!
- It remains a huge, yet untapped industry! Like it or not, the wearables industry is huge with humanity just about scratching the tip of the iceberg at the moment. By going deep into it, it facilitates the opening up on a yet-to-be tapped market of mind-boggling proportions which has implications worldwide and that too for decades to come!