Over the last few years, wearable technology in addition to health apps have exploded growing to reach 245 million units in the year 2019 from 84 million units back in 2015. The market for health apps and wearable technology has a projected growth rate of 4.2 percent while the market volume is estimated to hit $17,856 million by 2024. In the past, a majority of patients were comfortable with undertaking physical checkups, maybe, once a year and checking with the doctor when they felt something was wrong. The digital age has however brought in many changes – patients now focus on prevention and maintenance and not on treatment. The patients want to have information about their health frequently. They want to be on toes with their day to day health and fitness.
Many companies in the healthcare space will be seeking wearable app development solutions from developers in order to create apps that help patients monitor their health.
Healthcare Market Changes – The Birth of Wearables
Healthcare companies, on the other hand, are realizing this demand from patients and have become proactive to help solve the need. The companies have invested in wearable technology and apps that not only provide up to date monitoring but also transmit the information to a physician who analyses it and offers the solution. The wearable trackers, smartwatches, and biosensors are a gamechanger when it comes to promoting the health of individuals. With the wearable medical devices market expected to hit in excess of $27 million by the year 2023 from about $8 million in 2017, it shows the magnitude the market is growing.
Propelled by the increased demand for people to monitor their health, the use of wearable devices has grown three times within the last four years. Business Insider Intelligence shows that more than 80 percent of individuals are willing to fit in fitness technology or devices. That demand for the technology has triggered a boom in the market and many companies and insurers are now seeing how they can help their customers to secure wearable health technology including apps and devices.
Before we can talk about the trends in health apps and wearable technology, let quickly look into what wearable technology and examples of the technology or devices.
According to a survey conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), it says that wearable technology is going to be a top trend in the fitness space within the coming years. More than 3000 health and fitness experts were surveyed during the survey and they hinted that the use of wearable technology was advancing fast because people want to take control of their health.
As the demand for wearables increase, many companies will engage in wearable app development services in building apps that would health enhance preventive healthcare. Today, patients understand the need to keep fit and healthy and manage their conditions and wearables and apps are taking a centerstage role in achieving that goal.
What’s Wearable Technology?
When we talk of wearable technology, it entails electronic devices people wear to help maintain fitness. These devices include smartwatches and FitBits and are designed to assist in collecting data on the personal health of the user and exercising or working out the body. In 2018, the US consumer usage of wearables climbed to 33 percent from 9 percent in 2014, according to Accenture. Wearable fitness trackers are part of the technology that has seen huge growth and influence on the medical industry and healthcare.
Among the simplest and original forms of the technology, wearable fitness trackers include devices like wristbands that are equipped with sensors to help keep track of the physical activity as well as the heart rate of the user. The wearer is able to get first-hand fitness and health recommendations by syncing to different apps.
Fitbit Flex allows users to track their step progress within the day using five indicator lights found on the device.
Smartwatches help the users to perform activities and tasks they usually do on their phones including sending simple messages, making phone calls, reading notifications, and at the same time offering exercise and an individual’s health tracking benefits.
Wearable ECG monitors help in measuring electrocardiograms or ECGs. This is what sets them apart from smartwatches. For instance, Move ECG is able to measure a user’s electrocardiogram and relay it to their doctor. It also detects atrial fibrillation thus helping in managing heart health. In addition, the device can track distance, pace, elevation, and automatic tracking for swimming, running, biking, and walking.
Blood pressure monitor wearables are used to monitor the blood pressure of an individual.
HeartGuide launched by Omron Healthcare in 2019 is a good example of wearable blood pressure monitors and although it looks like a smartwatch, it is an oscillometric pressure monitoring device that helps measure the user’s blood pressure as well as daily activities like distance traveled, the steps taken, and the calories burned. The device has an app known as HeartAdvisor that is able to store, track, as well as share data of the user with their physicians while also trying to understand how habits of an individual affect their blood pressure.
Depending on what wearable app a healthcare company wants to create or the solution it needs to provide, the services of wearable applications development teams become handy. The coding experts will use their expertise to build and deploy apps that patients will use towards keeping fit and healthy.
Besides, there are biosensors are different from smartwatches and wrist trackers. For instance, they can be in form of a patch that is placed on the skin to help collect data on the heart rate, movement, respiratory rate as well as temperature of the individual as they move around. According to research done by August University Medical Center, it showed that Philip’s wearable biosensor was able to reduce patients’ conditions worsening into preventable respiratory or cardiac arrest by 89 percent. Biosensors would, therefore, help reduce staff workload and improve the outcomes of the patients.
The Trends in Wearables and Health Apps in 2020
1. Keeping Fit and Healthy with Wearables
Using fitness trackers and smartwatches will continue to edge its way in 2020. Patients will use apps like Fitbit that encourage healthy lifestyles. Users can engage in healthy competition as they work towards attaining their fitness goals.
2. Monitoring Health in Real-time
As the adoption rate of health wearables and apps increases, it will allow better communication between doctors and patients. Patients can get medical information that is extracted by wearable sensors and send it to the physicians instantly. Besides, healthcare apps will make it possible for doctors to view the medical history of the patient and patients will be able to reorder prescriptions and receive reminders about taking their medication.
3. Managing Chronic conditions with Wearables
About 60 percent of adults in American had a chronic condition as of 2014 with 24 percent of them having multiple chronic conditions – that’s according to a report by Rand Corporation. These conditions include heart disease, diabetes, and asthma. In 2020, wearable technology will continue to help patients manage such conditions.
For instance, Hyekyun Rhee, a professor of nursing serving at Rochester University came up with the Automated Device for Asthma Monitoring and Management (ADAM). The device has been patented, licensed, and approved to Health Care Originals. Health Care Originals have refined the device allowing it to be used as a flexible patch that has a rechargeable battery. It can be worn on the front or back of the upper torso. ADAM not only monitors asthma but also other respiratory conditions. Patients can even use it as a tool for monitoring exercise.
4. Seniors and people with Disabilities to Benefit from Wearables
The aged population in America has seen exponential growth leading to an increased need for healthcare services. Wearables will be able to assist older adults as well as people with disabilities in various ways. For instance, smart glasses such as those designed from Adaptive and Mobile Action Assistance in Daily Living Activities (ADAMAAS) project will help in managing tasks and providing instructions.
5. Reducing Treatment Cost per Patient with Wearables
Wearing wearables will work towards nurturing behaviors that minimize hospital visits as well as readmissions. Insurers will be able to lessen the increasing cost per patient with the use of wearables by patients. The devices and apps will work to increase patient life value. Since patients can monitor their health in real-time, they are able to seek help in time before their health deteriorates. Doctors, on the other hand, will be able to keep close watch over their patients’ health by looking at the data that is derived by the wearables. Timely treatment will mean that the patients get well soon and that they avoid situations that worsen their conditions.
In essence, wearables and health apps are going to play a big part in healthcare services. Whether it is monitoring sleep patterns, helping with exercises, or monitoring heart rate and chronic conditions like diabetes or blood sugar, patients can understand their health. Doctors are also in a better position to know what’s happening with patients and offer help in time. If you are a healthcare company that is need of an app, consider working closely with wearable app developers India teams since they not only offer affordable apps development but also have the expertise in coding or programming to produce quality, functional, and interactive apps for patients’ use.