Wearables’ Role in Modern Healthcare Industry


 Oleksandr Matviishyn is a Software Engineer at SoftServe, Inc. He has 4 years of experience in mobile, web and cross – platform development. Being involved in researches related to mobile and cutting edge technologies, Oleksandr also works with Healthcare, Enterprise and Security oriented solutions.

It’s not a secret that many modern wearable devices emerged in the IT market years and years ago, but a bunch of them were either hard to use or intrusive. Today, we are witnessing a revolution in personal medicine brought by upgraded wearables with built-in sensors and multiple functions. Not only are they saving thousands of lives and providing doctors with more comprehensive insights into their patients`condition, but also reducing business costs and increasing time to market.

Fitness Trackers and Their Functionalities

All the platforms are able to collect health data such as daily step count, sleep duration, calories, heart rate and a lot of other useful information about a user. Some of them collect data continuously (like Microsoft band and Fitbit Charge), some of them not, but the principle of these gadgets’ work and information they collect is a great leap for medical data analysis: it could predict and prevent serious problems. If for healthcare and insurance industry this analytics could save millions of dollar, for the end users (patients and people who care about their health) it could save millions of lives worldwide.

Wearable's High Point: Smart Watches

Possessing all the data collection features of fitness trackers, smart watches may extend this functionality through a 3rd party application that could be simply developed with vendors SDK’s. If smart bands serve as health data collection gadget for different purposes primarily for non-professionals, smart watches with their possibility to run 3rd party applications will take their place in professional use. 

Health Platforms

Supported by all mobile platforms (Windows Phone/Android/iOS), health platforms (for example, Health Vault, Microsoft Health, Google Fit, and Apple HealthKit) facilitate a simple process of health data collection from different sources into one place for sharing with different professional EMR - EHR systems or directly with patient’s personal doctor or relatives.

The next level to be achieved by these platforms is the ability to unify all data and democratize it, which will add a real value to all the existing functionalities.

Problems and Their Antidotes

With all these three key technologies, we could solve many problems in Healthcare industry:

  • How to automatically collect health data and at the same time minimize user interaction with application to enter data by hands;
  • Where to store and how to share health data (using Health platforms) safely;
  • How to promptly notify users 24/7.

Here’s how the communication model of wearable devices looks like:

All the platforms work like a scalable constructor that provides simple methods to create healthcare enabled applications from scratch and at the same time ensure easy extension of a mobile application with wearable devices. This is the solution to all the challenges mentioned above.

Conclusion

As today’s market provides a vast space for tech-giants to try their hands in smart technologies creation, the activity trackers market is getting enriched with new trackers of extended functionality. No matter if wearables will be used by non-professionals-patients to collect and share health data continuously with doctors or hospitals, or if they will be used by professionals to monitor and analyze health data on the go, - these gadgets will start a new era in prevention and treatment of serious diseases.

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