Futuristic pedometers on steroids that monitor everything from caloric intake to heart rate embody the wearable tech wave of the future. Smartwatches like Apple Watch, Android Wear, Pebble and fitness trackers have become more prevalent amongst a range of consumers–from the casual exerciser to the fitness fanatic. Affordable Healthcare 123 Tees, a company that strives to contribute to the fight for affordable healthcare through creating and selling apparel that raises awareness and funds, looks into how smartwatches have essentially become an extension of ourselves.
Wearable tech users can select which activities or information they want monitored by purchasing Apple Watch Apps and Android Wear Apps. While Fitbits market themselves as a fitness tool, Apple Watch boasts activity tracking as just one of its many features.
Apple’s activity and workout apps are aesthetically pleasing with great usability, but Fitbit offers multi-phone app features with even more stats and data graphics. Fitbit also provides an excellent desktop dashboard to assist with the collection and analysis of the user’s activity data.
The Benefits of Tracking Health Data
It’s not surprising that many healthcare providers have begun to integrate biometric readers into their health plans. Healthcare organizations are incentivizing customers to track their health and wellness to some degree. More employers are seeing the value in keeping their employees fit and proactive in their health, which offers long-term cost savings by reducing obesity, heart disease and other health issues that can be lessened by a healthier lifestyle.
Next generation tracking devices from innovators like Fitbit, Apple Watch, Android Wear and Pebble will influence how health insurance costs are determined, according to Forbes. In 2015, there were over 19 million registered Fitbit devices with over 9.5 million users actively using the fitness tracker. Usage is also estimated to increase over the next decade as more companies integrate wearable tech into their programs.
Barclays, GoDaddy.com and BMC Software are just some of the latest corporate customers that Fitbit is adding to its roster, as it builds out a small but fast-growing corporate wellness business. Companies are also purchasing devices in bulk to provide to their employees while others are offering discounts.
Collecting and leveraging the data captured by Fitness Trackers will continue to grow, while providing additional benefits such as monitoring standard vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.), activity, sugar levels for diabetics and wearable tech facilitated exams.
Smartwatches have had a great impact within the wellness area, while also providing safety for people with medical conditions. Smartwatches will play an important role in the future of medicine as we see the evolution of key trends like: continuous monitoring for prevention, therapy (i.e. Chrono Therapeutics), alerts and resources for specific patient groups and, of course, electronic patient records.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the recently developed Peek eye testing app has had significant success testing visual acuity, which is the most important measure of visual function. When conducting in doctors’ office, these tests can cost more than $1,000. The use of Apple Watch apps and Android Wear apps can offer huge cost savings for insurance companies and patients alike. Standard physical exams to ensure patient health via Wearable Tech could be the wave of the future.
Apple Watch and AndroidWear users don’t need to wait for advances in medicine and health trackers as many highly advanced apps already exist. As healthcare and fitness trackers evolve in tandem, wearable tech users can begin to be proactive by using Apple Watch apps like:
Pebble Time has taken a different route by offering it’s own Pebble Health built-in health tracking app. Pebble has had the ability to track activity by offering fitness apps like Misfit and Jawbone, but now newer Pebble Time watches can automatically track fitness and sleep all the time, without the need to download apps. Pebble collaborated with researchers at Stanford University to track daily activity, including steps, distance, and active minutes. Sleep is automatically tracked and displayed as sleep, deep sleep, and intermittent sleep. This built in functionality frees the user from having to select and download apps, which may take up storage space and battery life.
Technology is changing the way we tap into the benefits of living a proactive healthy lifestyle. Fitbits, Apple Watches, Android Wear, Pebble Time and similar devices will change the way we manage our health while providing companies ways to incentivize healthy living for insurance benefits. Advances in medicine and technology will continue to grow with the availability of data captured by health trackers. It’s the future of fitness and it’s available with a flick of the wrist.
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