Why wearable electronics need more than just a pretty faceFollow article
There is a huge amount of media interest being given to wearable electronic devices at the moment. Even though this is clearly great for the semiconductor industry, as it represents an important future revenue stream, perhaps too much of the attention so far has been focussed specifically on the fashion aspect and not enough on the benefits this technology could also have in terms of healthcare. As wearable electronic products can be kept in constant contact with the body, they are very highly suited to the monitoring of various physical parameters, and this is an area that needs to be thoroughly explored.
On an everyday basis, people wear items such as watches, glasses, clothes and jewellery, which touch against their skin. Through the inclusion of additional functionality, this presents a number of ways by which the acquisition of data can be achieved, without any inconvenience or discomfort being experienced by the wearer. A diverse set of parameters such as heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure, as well as blood glucose and oxygen levels, and even sleep patterns could all be observed on a continuous basis using non-invasive methodologies. By compiling all this available data together, both acute and chronic medical conditions could be identified at a much earlier stage (before they have had a chance to show more easily recognisable external symptoms).
In addition to the clinical dimensions of wearable electronics devices, mechanisms could be put in place to encourage the wearer to improve their lifestyle. By being set goals and challenges, then given rewards, they could become noticeably healthier over time. Sharing their achievements via social networking channels could help to ensure that the individual in question and his peer group all maintain their motivation.
To learn more about how wearable electronics could impact the healthcare sector and other aspects of our everyday life, download Toshiba’s latest white paper: