Wearable Devices for Health: Examples, Impact & Trends

Instructor: Justine Fritzel

Justine has been a Registered Nurse for 10 years and has a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree.

Wearable health devices have become a popular trend. In this lesson, you'll learn about different types of devices and the impact they have made on people's health. You'll examine at the future of wearable health devices.

What Are Wearable Health Devices?

It's a popular trend and a hot gift for the holiday season. You can't go wrong in buying a wearable health device. In fact, you probably know several people who own wearable health devices. You may even be one of them!

Wearable health devices are technology devices to monitor different health related measurements and have become very popular. As you walk through the mall, check out people's wrists. You will likely see many different wearable health devices.

One of the best known brands is Fitbit. But there are numerous different brands that have joined in making different types of wearable health devices.

One example of a wearable health device.

Examples of Wearable Health Devices

Fitness trackers are popular for tracking how many steps you are taking in a day. They also track how much time is spent being active as well as your heart rate with activity. You can even invite friends to do challenges with you to help keep you motivated to be active.

Sleep trackers are another popular device. Many of the wearable health devices have multiple features such as fitness and sleep trackers. There are also apps on your phone that can connect with your sleep tracker. For example, the Sleep as Android app tracks how long you sleep and how much deep sleep you get. It will monitor the noise in the room, such as snoring or talking in your sleep. It can even detect the best time to wake you to avoid the morning grogginess.

There are different trackers to measure and monitor stress, blood pressure, weight and body fat, temperature, and even the amount of exposure to sunlight! There is a tracker that can monitor your heart rate through doing an electrocardiogram (ECG), which measures the electrical pattern of your heart.

This trend has become so popular that even smart phones generally have a built in feature of health tracking. Your phone can track your steps, measure your heart rate, stress, and many other things.

Wearable health devices come in all sorts of types and sizes. From wrist bands to watches to belts to clothing!

Impact For Healthcare

We know that lack of physical activity, poor sleep, and high stress can all lead to health issues. In fact, half of all Americans already have one or more chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or another condition. These conditions account for the majority of our healthcare expenses.

We also know that lifestyle modifications can help prevent or improve these chronic diseases. Wearable health devices can help in these regards. We live in a high-paced society, and it is hard to find time to go see your doctor for a routine visit, so often times people aren't going to the doctor until there is a problem. We are also so busy that we may not take the time to evaluate our lifestyle.

But through the use of a wearable health device, it is a simple way to allow people to take control of their health. They can monitor how active they are and set goals to increase their activity. They can monitor their heart rate and their sleep pattern.

Through electronic monitoring, this could allow physicians to check in with patients remotely and decrease office visits. Even employers and health insurance companies are seeing the benefit that wearable health devices can bring. Some companies are offering incentives to people to use these devices. Your employer knows a healthy employee decreases costs so they may provide wearable health devices for their staff as a way to encourage physical activity and health. Health insurances have also offered discounts to subscribers to use wearable health devices.

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