The Wearable Technology Revolution and Your Health

December 21, 2014

We are in the beginning of a wearable technology revolution.  It seems futuristic and hard to imagine, but technology is becoming so advanced that it won’t be long until our own fingers may be used as Bluetooth devices.  There are devices out there changing the way we do things every day, but the next generation of these gadgets will be worn on our bodies, while being virtually invisible. They may come in the form of eyeglasses, watches, rings and more.

These new technological advances are meant to foster health and happiness. The hope is that they will make our lives easier and will help us to be more aware of our behaviors.  With health wearables the idea is that we can modify our behaviors and be more aware of our own health.  We, of course, shouldn’t rely on this new technology to be aware FOR us.  The goal is to give us little nudges and hints.

Health Wearables

Biometric sensors embedded in a variety of devices will help people track their health.  This is already happening, but new technology on the horizon will blow the FitBit out of the water.  The latest and greatest will be a whole new level of innovations.

For example, it won’t be long before we will have devices that alert us when we are exhibiting signs of a cold or the flu before we even feel the symptoms.  It will use the same biometric technology that many devices do already to revolutionize the medical world.

There is even a device, the new Apple iWatch you may have heard of, that will alert you when you are slumping or slouching, so that you can eliminate back pain.  It will also alert you when you have been sedentary for too long.  This device is the tip of the ice berg.

Data for Behavioral Changes

These types of technologies are bound to create changes in our behavior.  For example, if we can learn that we are exhibiting symptoms of illness before we even feel them, then we can start taking measures to prevent the sickness.  If you knew you had a nasty cold coming on, you might rest more, drink more water and stay away from alcohol.  Additionally, with the obesity epidemic and the majority of people sitting at a desk all day, wearables can make the activity-health connection more transparent.

The technologies that modify behavior now are typically “nudges” and reminders.  For example, fitness trackers may be helpful in reminding you that you need to go for a walk or stand up from a seated position based on more general scheduling.  Upcoming wearables will be more in tune and sensitive to our state of being from readings of our heart beat, to sensing body temperature.

Improve Health by Monitoring Your Activity

These simple reminders can greatly improve health and quality of life.  They are also often connected to your smartphone so you can even play games, make it fun.  For example, a breathing exercise may require filling a bubble.

This all may seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it is soon to be our reality.  The next generation will likely take these technologies to be the norm and will be amazed that we ever were so unaware of the state of our health. The hope, of course, is that they will make life easier and healthier.

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