The introduction of smart technology into the healthcare industry has helped people worldwide monitor and improve their general well-being. Our team at First Aid Pro will explore the different variations of wearable smart devices and how they can positively impact your health.
Wearable smart devices were first introduced in the 1960s as a method to cheat at casinos but began advancing rapidly during the 2000s.
Bluetooth Speakers and Apple iPods were released throughout the 2000s and have changed how we use technology.
In the 2010s and now the 2020s, these gadgets have significantly grown in capability and style.
Currently, people have a range of wearable devices they can choose from, many of which have multiple health-related features.
Types of Wearable Smart Devices and Their Healthcare Abilities
One of the most common wearable devices, smart watches come in many styles and have been produced by various technology giants like Samsung and Apple.
The first smartwatch was created in 2004, the Microsoft SPOT (Smart, Personal, Object, Technology), which allowed users to check the news, weather and access FM radio.
Gradually, developers added more features to smartwatches, allowing users to perform several commands and connect to the internet using Bluetooth.
Some of these features can help people monitor and enhance their health.
For example, many smartwatches have built-in heart rate monitors that provide accurate data and alert users when an alarming heart rhythm is detected.
Another ability smartwatches can perform is detecting falls and automatically calling for emergency support.
Access to a feature like this is useful for people who are elderly or vulnerable and live alone.
Smartwatches can even track people’s sleep, ensuring that they are getting an adequate amount of rest each night.
On several devices, this ability will also measure the quality of someone’s sleep, displaying how much deep, light and interrupted sleep they have had throughout the night.
Calorie counting is another function most smartwatches can fulfil.
Even though they cannot automatically input the amount of food users consume while wearing the watch, the device can report how many calories they have lost by tracking their step count.
People suffering from health issues, such as diabetes, high or low cholesterol and inflammatory bowel issues, can use this feature to monitor their dietary intake easily.
Augmented Reality Headsets
Augmented reality (AR) headsets are devices that create virtual features in real environments.
For instance, the device could place animated characters in someone’s living room as they play a video game.
Harvard Professor Ivan Sutherland created the first AR headset in 1968, the ‘Sword of Damocles’.
Since the late 2010s, AR headsets have been equipped with additional abilities like gaming, streaming for live events and healthcare features.
Many AR headsets have programs that allow medical students to gain instant information and develop their skills in the field.
Virtual surgeries can also be performed on AR software, allowing students to practice conducting a medical procedure without the need for a living subject.
While AR headsets are extremely helpful for medical students, they can also help people monitor their health.
As patients rehabilitate injuries such as joint replacements and fractured or broken bones, they can use certain AR programs to teach them correct muscle movements and ensure a smooth recovery.
Unlike AR headsets, virtual reality (VR) headsets create an animated environment for users to perform activities.
Created by Morton Heilig in the 1960s, the first VR headset was named the Telesphere Mask and included stereoscopic 3D imagery and surround sound audio.
After Heilig’s initial model, VR headsets have become extremely advanced in recent years and can be used for various purposes.
Even though VR headsets are often used for gaming and recreational reasons, they can serve as effective healthcare tools.
Using the technology currently available, people suffering from mental illnesses or chronic pain can operate VR software that relieves soreness.
For instance, some applications can reduce patients’ anxiety or pain while preparing for surgery.
Studies from the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles revealed that patients experiencing several injuries or conditions endured 25% less pain while using medical programs on a VR headset.
Medical professionals also use VR programs to record live surgeries so students can learn through the lens of the surgeon.
A relatively new form of wearable smart device, digital posture correctors benefit people of many ages.
The digital posture correctors may come with a double-armed brace or as a sensor, depending on its purpose and model.
Including placing people’s muscles upright, the sensor will alert them when slouching by sending a light vibration up their back and expanding their postural awareness.
Some posture correctors are connected to applications, allowing users to track their progress and set goals.
Other models may also have additional self-adjusting features so people do not have to readjust the device constantly.
Although these posture correctors are an effective short-term solution for people aiming to straighten their stance, experts say long-term use can weaken core muscles.
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