Technology has been used extensively in modern medicine and it has transformed the way illness is understood and approached right from diagnosis through to treatment. However, doctors are still largely bound by the barrier of physical presence to monitor a patient’s wellbeing. But advancements could lead to wearable technology bridging this gap. So, how exactly could this happen?
Wearable Technology Can Monitor Patient’s Recovery Remotely
By developing wearable technology for use in a medical setting it could provide a way for doctors to monitor a patient’s wellbeing remotely and in real time. In instances where a patient is going through recovery, or even has a long-term condition, the wearable technology can be used as means of reviewing progress and tweaking treatment based on daily habits. This means patients can get more tailored care, speeding up recovery and even improving overall health.
This may seem like science fiction but this is already a reality being pursued. Scientists in the US have been developing an unobtrusive wearable sensor that resembles a plaster. It has been tested on stroke patients in order to see how they are progressing in recovery, such as speech and physical activity. The therapist can then use the information gathered at the next check-up and discuss ways to target the areas that are lagging behind.
Wearable Technology Could Be Used in Medical Emergencies
Not only could wearable tech be used as way to tailor recovery, but it could also have highly useful applications in medical emergencies. Sudden and dangerous changes in condition such as stroke or heart attack could happen when a person is unattended, making it harder to alert the emergency services. But wearable tech could potentially provide an alert – perhaps by wireless internet – either to the services themselves or another individual. This would shorten response time and decrease the potential harm caused.
In fact, existing products adopt this alert feature in a more rudimentary way, we even stock some here at CareCo. For example, the Geemarc Serenities Fall Detection Remote Control is a wearable device that can alert those nearby when the wearer has a fall. The jolt of either a fall or even near fall causes the device to vibrate, sound a noise, and light up, drawing attention and helping the wearer potentially catch themselves. There is also a manual activation if needed. Although the device cannot be monitored remotely it does show that wearable tech has patient care applications.
Additional CareCo Wearable Technology Products
Stay Safe GPS Tracker
The Stay Safe GPS Tracker is an existing example of utilising a wireless connection to provide continuous patient monitoring. Its purpose is to provide the location of a vulnerable individual – such as a dementia sufferer – who may have wondered off. By inserting a SIM card into the unit, a smartphone can then send a text and subsequently receive the devices location via Google Maps. This can dramatically shorten the time it takes to search for the lost individual, avoiding potential harm or crisis.