Technology has certainly advanced to greater heights and a big sign of this development is the innovations that have been emerging in certain fields. AI has been a huge development and plays a very significant role in many fields of work.
As such technology has gained momentum to the extent that it gives an individual the opportunity to look over their health status without visiting their doctor. This is something new in the field of medical studies and helps a person decide on their health and how they can manage it at their discretion.
There is a health monitor, that can be worn. In many cases, it comes as a watch, a waist belt, or even a ring. This innovation will surely transform lives and the scope of technology in medical studies for the better.
1. What is a Wearable Health Monitor?
A wearable health monitor is a digitalised device that can be worn on one’s body, and which has the capability of tracking or monitoring one’s heartbeats, blood pressure etc. This technology is new to the field and is extremely beneficial.
Due to this new technology, one may not need to run to the doctor as often for regular checkups. Moreover, it also reduces the risks of health deterioration, since it keeps monitoring the present status of the body, and that can alert people. This way they can consult a doctor before it turns serious.
The origin of devices that were built upon tracking physical factors can be traced back to the pre-WW Era. This was the time when the lie detector was first invented. This device used sensors that could measure the galvanic response of the skin, pulse rate and blood pressure. This would aid them in sniffing out the thieves.
The second known device was a tracker that could track the number of steps one took in a day. This was to combat weight issues and obesity problems, and research showed that 10k steps a day could battle it. This device was a creation of a Japanese professor, Dr. Yoshiro Hatano and he called it the Manpo-kei Pedometer.
The accelerometer airbags in cars were the next in line and proved one of the most significant developments of the time.
The GPS tracking that was founded under the presidency of Bill Clinton in the USA is another benchmark of this technology.
The early 2000s saw self-tracking health apps and websites which gave way to virtual fitness setups. One of them was MyFitnessPal. This motivated the people to work on their fitness, gave them goals, and even showed their progress.
The Nokia 550 Sport introduced an in-built accelerometer. This movement was recorded in three different axes: up and down, side-to-side and front-to-back. This device provided the number of calories burned, and distance travelled.
The recent accelerometers have 3D data representation.
The science of medical health over the years has progressed. Below we will look at the present situation of health monitors, and what we can expect from the future.
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2. Wearable Health Monitors in the Present:
At present, wearable health trackers are built-in with sensors and can track the body temperature, the number of steps taken, heart rate, pulse rate, calories burned etc.
It gives us a real-time data structure of all the important things we need to know about our bodies. In this context, we receive snapshots or data graphs of our body which helps us decide our ways to navigate through health and properly maintain them.
The present situation of health trackers is very promising and is at a phase where it’s evolving rapidly.
They have gained prominence in the recent era, and they have several features that aid the proper tracking of health and fitness.
There are many features of a health tracker. Some of them are:
2.1 Activity Tracking:
Health trackers track the activities that we initiate, and at the same time track certain activities in our physical body too.
We get data on the steps we take in a day, our pulse rate, heart rate, blood rate etc, and can take up personalised ways to tackle them. It also helps us set goals that we can achieve through navigating health.
2.2 Heart Rate Monitoring:
Many trackers come with an in-built sensor that picks up on our heart rate and produces a detailed description of it. They let us know about the heart rate, the cardiovascular system, and blood pressure. Through this one is regularly updated on the functioning of their heart, especially if they are suffering from heart ailments.
2.3 Helps Maintain a Proper Sleeping Schedule:
Many trackers come with sensors to track sleeping patterns, duration, and quality of sleep. This helps one navigate through their sleeping habits and ensure that their sleep routines remain healthy. Quality sleep is vital for leading a healthy life.
2.4 Mental and Digital Well-Being:
Mental well-being is also something that can be tracked and ensured through trackers.
Some of these trackers are infused with features that allow the trackers to trace the body’s stress levels, and suggest exercises or other ways to tackle them.
Mental well-being depends greatly on our digital experience and consequently, there are trackers on our phones to track our digital experience, which includes the amount of time we decide to spend. In many cases, this feature can also lock apps which may consume too much of our time.
Health trackers are a rising and developing force and quality technology. They can sync with phones and other devices, hence making them more accessible.
In many cases, the health tracker gives us personalised recommendations based on our health data and analysis.
3. What are Some Known Wearable Health Monitors in the Market Presently?
The health and fitness trackers fall into several categories, some of which are listed below:
The Apple watch falls under this category. Not a primarily apt definition of a fitness tracker, yet the device is built-in with a lot of fitness tracking features. The fact that it is a smartwatch means that it can be used to make calls, receive and send messages, and play music. This brand of fitness tracker is an expensive investment, but nothing not worth it. It is a multi-faceted device and can be used for several purposes aside from as a fitness and health tracker.
In this respect, it is safe to include the Samsung Galaxy Watch, and fitness trackers by Garmin and Polar too.
Garmin is renowned for its durability and accuracy. They are not particularly a smartwatch but many of their features, are similar to the smartwatches. Garmin includes many features such as a music player, GPS, contactless payments, etc.
Polar, on the other hand, is known for its heart rate monitors. Like Garmin, their accuracy and durability are also something one can vouch for.
Fitbit is one of the most popular brands for fitness trackers. They offer a wide range of trackers to make our selection from, and all of them are programmed differently, to meet the various needs of the customers. Since they are different with many features, the prices also depend on the features.
As of recent there has been a new range of fitness and health trackers that have been infused into a ring.
In this category, there is the Oura Ring, which is known for its accurate heart rate tracking, and it also tracks one’s sleep schedule. In addition, some other features include stress monitoring and menstrual cycle tracking.
The Motiv Ring is also similar to the Oura ring and provides almost the same benefits as the latter. This tracker has a built-in music player, sleep tracking, heart rate monitor and stress monitor as well. However, it does not have menstrual cycle tracking.
In short, the perfect fitness and health tracker for one will depend on their personal choice needs, and budget. At the same time, one may also consider the different features available, and make their choice accordingly.
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4. How does the Future of Wearable Health Monitors Look Like?
At present, the field of medical study involving technology is witnessing steady development. AI and computing are already playing a great role in technology and treatments that involve new technological development. It is also allowing humans to get access to health-related updates through wearable tracking devices.
Therefore, it will be interesting to observe and explore what new developments are expected.
Firstly, a better integration of data is what we can expect. The health trackers can be integrated with other health technologies, which have records of a patient’s health. This integration will allow a better exchange of data, between patients, healthcare officials and other high authorities.
This will facilitate more personalised treatments, and recommendations.
Secondly, with continuous improvement of these wearable devices, we may witness these devices providing medical-grade monitoring. This will include continuous tracking of the vital signs and symptoms that a body goes through, for example, blood pressure, glucose levels and even early signs of diabetes.
Thirdly, with AI taking over, AI could be infused with the tracker and this will provide various insights and suggestions for further improving their health. For example, if a person is suffering from obesity, AI-infused wearable health monitors can suggest personalised exercises or diets help them.
At the same time, AI could help track the anomalies in data offer a more personalised recommendation, and improve one’s well-being.
Fourthly, with AI working together, it can provide a predictive health analysis and give us an idea of the potential health issues that are likely to manifest in an individual. This will encourage them to be more cautious and avoid situations leading up to the manifestation.
Fifthly, the future could see a more advanced form of wearable health trackers, as we may find ourselves witnessing clothes and other devices being infused with technology to monitor our health. This makes the form of trackable devices more flexible.
Moreover, there may also be a system that can analyse the emotional state of a person, from judging their voice, or facial features. This way they can assess stress levels and their emotional situations.
Lastly, since health trackers require a lot of personal data to be shared with an unknown source, the future will see a growing need for improving the confidentiality issues of the system and ensuring that there is no breach in personal security and data.
It is important to know that the future of health trackers will be heavily influenced by the technological advancements that take place at that time. Therefore, it is not possible to pinpoint every kind of development that will take place in the field of health tracking.
Wearable Health Monitors are one of the biggest advancements in technology and is a proof of what technology can do if it is used to its best. The progress of technology in the field of wearable health monitors is remarkable. It started in the pre-world war era, and is still in the process of betterment, in 2023.
The article above provides a brief description of the progress of technology, particularly in the field of Wearable Health Monitors. Furthermore, there is a briefing on the features of such health monitors. Moreover, the types of health monitors and their specifications have also been discussed.
The future of wearable health monitors seems bright and intriguing. With further advancements in technology, there is a goal to make the device more reliable, so that it can be used to its full functionality. At present whatever it is that the technology is lacking will be met with, and improved.
Finally, we need to remember that one cannot still fully depend on a health monitor only. There may be technical glitches or bugs in the system. Hence it is always preferred to have one’s health checked by professionals and take their opinion.