Placed on – 14 March 2019

Growth in biometric wearables improves the quality of care

Growth in biometric wearables improves the quality of care

Wearables: we know them as the pedometers and fitness trackers. But we see the development increasingly shifting from the consumer market to healthcare. How can biometric wearables be used in healthcare? The innovations contribute to the increase of personalized care.

Research by IDC shows that in the first quarter of 2018, 9.2 percent fewer simple wearables, such as pedometers and activity trackers, were sold. This year the sale of this will decrease further. At the same time there is more demand for devices that take biometric measurements, such as heart rate, heart rate variability and temperature.

Thanks to these types of devices, patients can monitor their health continuously instead of having to go to the hospital for expensive and incidental measurements. In addition, a biometric wearable can help prevent serious situations by issuing alerts. The right people can be engaged if a dangerous situation threatens.

Empatica is an example of this. This company has developed a wristband that can detect whether someone is having an epileptic seizure based on biometric measurements. The wristband is connected to an alert app, so that the caregivers are notified when unusual measurements occur. Continuous monitoring of real-time measurements therefore offers both support and certainty for patients, as well as better insights for the healthcare professional.

Personalized care
At the same time, we see that the plans to settle pharmaceutical companies on the basis of the delivered health results are increasingly taking shape. This is because new technology ensures that the right medicine can be found faster by drawing up personal DNA profiles.

Growth in biometric wearables improves the quality of care

This is an important new development because pharmaceutical companies often provide one type of medicine for each type of patient. Now that they are responsible for the results of medicines, they too are becoming interested in the differences between individuals and how this can be measured with wearables.

Biometric parameters such as temperature, heart rate and heart rate variability are important to be able to investigate whether medicines have the desired effect. This allows pharmacists to better and faster develop drugs that suit a unique patient rather than an average value measured during a clinical trial. With this, pharmaceutical companies are taking a step towards personalized care.

Implantable sensors offer a solution
Wearables must be charged. This is impractical, especially when continuous biometric measurements must be taken. Fortunately, there are innovations in the field of energy harvesting where portable electronics get energy from body heat or movements. This can also be used with implantable sensors, such as the implantable glucose sensor Eversense.

Eversense is a sensor that is placed under the skin of diabetic patients and continuously measures blood sugar. This glucose meter is used as an extra check. In addition to the fact that energy harvesting can be used so that the implantable sensor does not need to be charged, it can no longer shift, as is often the case with sensors on the skin. This makes the measurements more accurate.

What is needed?
The rapid developments in the field of biometrics and technology offer new opportunities within healthcare. It is important that care organizations consult with themselves about the care that can be improved with biometric wearables. Where can wearables offer support? And for which patients can the device be a solution? Which technological developments must take place to optimize this product for where it is needed? The answers to this are necessary to guide the innovations around biometric wearables and to optimize their use.

This article appeared on TechQruxx. Click here to view the article on TechQruxx.

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