Some of the most important wearables aren’t found on the high street. While a Fitbit can be great for your long-term health if it gets you moving and exercising more, there are also wearables that an actual doctor might ‘prescribe’ – and some already are.
From diagnosing heart arrhythmia to monitoring diabetic’s blood glucose and helping out with stroke rehab, wearables already have a place in medicine.
We’ve picked out five of the top wearables that have the power to transform health, if they are not doing so already.
1. Snap 40: General diagnostics
Spend too much time obsessing over tech and believing the crowd-funded promises of start-ups and you could start thinking wearables are about to cure cancer. However, a much more realistic, and just as pressing, goal is to take pressure off the health service.
That’s Snap40’s aim. It’s a relatively small diagnostic tracker, worn on the upper arm, that monitors several metrics, and can identify deterioration in patients to avoid them having to spend days or weeks in a hospital bed. This is all the more important with healthcare on the brink of implosion in the US, and the UK’s NHS under constantly increasing pressure.
Snap40 “has been clinically proven to monitor heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, temperature, change in systolic blood pressure, motion and posture within a clinically acceptable level of agreement,” according to its makers.
It uses Wi-Fi to transmit its readings, giving doctors and nurses access to them whether the patient is at home or at the hospital. Snap40 sends out alerts when readings cause a shift of the wearer’s EWS score, which is a system that determines how ill a patient is using a series of metrics.
In February 2017, Snap40 announced a million pound contract with the NHS, to further develop this smart approach to triage.