For about ten years, wearable devices have been marketed in the niche of health and fitness as offering many advantages over the years. carrier. But what is the effectiveness of these devices? Are they just for the show, or do they give tangible benefits?
The origins of wearable devices
Portable devices, that is, devices with digital displays and Internet connectivity, may be recent additions to the market, but portable health and convenience devices have existed for decades, even centuries.
Dating throughout the early centuries, people have relied on birthstones in jewelry to offer a varied range of benefits. As explained Diamond Estate Jewelry "it has long been believed that birthstones brought a combination of good luck, good health, prosperity, love and well-being." other benefits to the bearer. Each stone is associated with a particular month is a tradition dating back to the 15th century. "
Then you have copper bracelets, which were worn for the first time in ancient Egypt and, more recently, have enjoyed great popularity in the late 20th century.
"For those advocating the use of copper bracelets, the proposed benefits focus on the reduction of joint inflammation and the mitigation of pain", Glenda Taylor writes for Livestrong.com.
More recently, between 2007 and 2011, companies like Power Balance marketed silicone bracelets that had to improve balance in athletes . Although the product turned out to be a sham, millions of units were sold en route.
The practical health benefits of wearable technology
While the wearables of decades and centuries past are often controversial, there is reason to believe that today 's wearable devices are really beneficial. At the very least, they have the potential to become beneficial in the near future.
The jury is still on many claims that wearable device manufacturers are doing, but here are some trends and developments to watch for.
1. Collection of data from clinical trials
One of the most intriguing aspects of this conversation is the usefulness of wearable devices in clinical trials. Not only can they collect and analyze clinical data in real time, they also make it easier for researchers to find participants.
Apple has published an application called ResearchKit that works in conjunction with iPhones and Apple Watches and allows researchers to collect valuable information from users.
"During the ResearchKit launch day, 11,000 volunteers enrolled in a cardiovascular trial from Stanford University.Before this innovation, Stanford said it would take a year to achieve this. level of participation. " George Clinical explains . "Another ResearchKit application, mPower was launched last year.In the space of six hours, 7,406 people had enrolled in the Parkinson's disease study through Prior to this, the largest study group was 1700. "
The hope is that this technology will only continue to improve, which will further increase the participation rate and improve the datasets that researchers can access.
2. Chronic Disease Management
Portable devices offer a lot of promise in terms of monitoring and treatment of chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Several technologies are currently in progress and some have already been tested with positive results.
For example, Verify (previously known as Life Science of Google) is associated with a company called Dexcom to develop a portable tracking device that diabetics can use to monitor their blood glucose levels 24 hours out of 24. It consists of a disposable needle that runs just under the skin and a patch that sits on top and houses the electronics used to measure and transmit data to Bluetooth devices.
The hope is that this technology could help diabetics lead a more normal life – a life where they have continued access to potentially vital information.
3. Awarenes of Health
Finally, there is a lot of value in just being aware of your health at all times. Something as simple as wearing a Fitbit Watch or Apple Watch allows individuals to stay on top of the heart rate, physical activity, calories burned, measures taken, and so on. When these settings are in the lead, they are more likely to train intelligently. , healthy habits.
Poised for Breakthrough
There are certainly signs that there is a positive correlation between clothing technologies and health and well-being, but it is expected that more benefits will emerge in the near future. Staying aware of what is happening in this niche will prove very useful as the market evolves.