Health Tech

Mind Boggling Healthcare Wearable Inventions 


Infrared lights to measure glucose? Electronic tattoos that can pick up all kinds of sounds are body makes and analyze them? Rings that can provide real-time data about our health? 

Is this real or out of a sci-fi movie? Well, some of this is actually already real and a lot of it is in the works for the near future. 

Welcome to the Future of Wearable Health Tech! 

Upside Health is happy to give you an inside scoop into what to expect from healthcare disruptors and modern inventors in this blog. 

What Is Wearable Health Tech? 

Wearable Health Tech is a broad spectrum of technological products that assist in monitoring, tracking, and analyzing various health parameters of the wearer. Also, as the name obviously suggests these tech items are worn or “in-contact” with the wearer’s body at all times. 

This “technically” loaded definition might leave you a bit puzzled, but actually, it’s a concept you see every day and are probably using too! 

Wearables come in different shapes and sizes. A fitness band that measures how many steps you walk, a smartwatch that tracks your heart rate, monitors your pulse, and does a bunch of other health supervision activities are all a part of the wearable health tech spectrum. 

Wearable health tech is generally an over-the-skin or on-the-skin technology that is equipped with biosensors and biomarkers which enable the technology in understanding the different metabolic signals a human body is constantly transmitting. The IoT (Internet of Things) embedded in the wearables receives and analyses these signals as per the algorithm. 

This slightly futuristic and sci-fi type of technology is going to change the healthcare industry as well as how we perceive fitness. 

Preventive Healthcare & Wearables 

Before the global COVID-19 pandemic hit us, health was one of the least prioritized aspects of modern life. As a society, we were more focussed on financial goals, and career goals and very few of us consciously made healthier choices, but not anymore! We are now in a post-pandemic awakening of sorts, where more and more people actually care about their health parameters and fitness levels. 

This paradigm shift in attitude combined with health tech’s latest innovations is transforming the healthcare landscape altogether. We are officially entering an era where preventive healthcare is going to take precedence and wearables are going to become essential items. 

Wearables can work wonders in behavioral modification and help users in making healthier choices to enhance their quality of life. Smartwatches that track heart rates for example alert users when their heart rate spikes dangerously or crashes too. This can help the user in understanding what they are doing wrong – whether it’s stress at work, or some strenuous physical activity, the wearable immediately brings it to your attention.

Doctors have revealed that one of the biggest advantages of wearables is their ability to assist in catching symptoms of different medical conditions early on. The age-old adage – “Prevention is better than cure” can be implemented easily because of wearables. 

Health Parameters Measurable On Wearables 

Basic health parameters that can be monitored using wearables are – 

  • Cardiovascular activity using accurate ECG and SpO2 sensors,
  • Blood glucose levels using biomarkers such as CGMs, 
  • Physical activity levels using smartwatches that monitor movements through GPS and activity intensity using heart rate sensors in the watch,
  • Sleep patterns can also be measured through health tech devices,

This is a list of health parameters that the current generation of health tech can monitor. However, the upcoming wearables are going to be far superior and probably mind-blowing!! 

Role of AI in Health Tech 

Artificial Intelligence and IoT will play an extremely significant role in the healthcare sector globally. Together these two technologies can be used for data collection, quantification, analysis, and lifestyle modifications. Additionally, IoT and AI can empower caregivers, physicians, and hospitals to monitor the vitals of patients in recovery and post-operative care. 

Wearables, Health Tech & India 

India is the second most populous country on the planet. It has also emerged to be the capital of metabolic syndrome. Cardiovascular diseases, chronic diabetes, and rising obesity are some of the problems a majority of Indians are dealing with today. 

This is where emerging IoT-driven wearables are going to play a major role. Although India is a genetically diverse country, there is very little modern research material available on how our genetics, tropical environment, food habits, and physical activities affect our health. Wearables with their tiny chips and mighty powers will give Indian researchers, doctors, hospitals, and the government a macro perspective on health. This will give a boost to the healthcare infrastructure and services in the country. 

The Futuristic Tech Possibilities With Wearables

  1. Blood Glucose Analytics

CGM (Continous Glucose Monitoring) patches (backlink to first blog) are just the tip of the iceberg for Blood Glucose tracking. CGMs paired with smartphone apps give real-time insights into blood sugar levels, sudden spikes, or crashes. 

The next generation of Blood Glucose analytics will have implantable devices and devices that work on light and advanced biosensor technology. 

MIT labs have made some headway with using Raman Spectroscopy. The device configured from this health tech just needs the user to bring their finger under the infrared light. The light then detects the blood sugar levels and informs the user. This just might mean bye-bye to pricks! 

  1. Cardiovascular Monitoring 

All fitness bands today and smartwatches have the power to track the user’s heart rate. Apple Smart Watches have gone a step further and have incorporated the ability to show accurate ECG results and SPO2 in real-time to the user. 

There are talks within the industry of an implantable patch that will monitor the rhythm of the heart and notify your primary doctor immediately in case it spots major irregularities. Obviously, it will also gather and analyze your cardiovascular system 24/7. This data collection will arm the patient and doctor to chart out a better action plan for better heart health. 

The University of Illinois is developing a device called the “Electronic Tattoo” that will pick up all the subtle sounds and signals your body is sending right from the gut to the heart. 

Scientists are also said to be working on nanomaterials that can be released in the bloodstream to lower cholesterol levels in the body. 

  1. Cancer Care 

There is a significant amount of disruption happening in the Oncology healthcare space too. Considering that Cancer is a deadly disease with no surefire cure available. The Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) is conducted a trial for cancer patients with new wearable technology. 

The wearables that will be provided to patients include a smart ring from Oura that will monitor the vitals 24/7, a hybrid smartwatch from Withings Scanwatch with advanced health trackings, and an Isansys chest wearable monitoring system. 

These systems are just the beginning of the possibilities in Oncology. As more data will be collected through these wearables scientists will be able to come up with better treatment plans for Cancer patients worldwide. 

Food For Thought 

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” 

Arthur C. Clarke 

Wearables, IoT, AI, and yet-to-be-invented mind-boggling technologies will take healthcare ahead by leaps and bounds. Everyday problems like sleep, stress, lifestyle disorders, chronic illnesses, medical emergencies, and much more will be quantifiable, actionable, and most likely repairable armed with real-time analytics! 

The future of healthcare is coming and we at Upside Health cannot wait to be a part of that journey.