5 Health Benefits of Wearable Technology

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Daniel Pavlik Jr DC

Apr 21, 2020

Wearable technology has become more prevalent as prices decrease, and functionality expands. One of the most popular wearables today is the wearable fitness tracker. Devices like the Fitbit and its various imitators aren’t just for fitness enthusiasts anymore. They’re finding increasing use in people of all ages and all fitness levels, as people with health issues discover the value of these devices in managing their conditions. Here are some of the health benefits that wearable technology may deliver.

1: Encouraging healthier lifestyles

Without some feedback and encouragement, it can be challenging to stick to an exercise routine. It’s all too easy to skip a day here or cut a jog short there. Before you know it, you’re not doing nearly as much exercise as you estimate.

With a wearable fitness tracker, you have as much accountability as you need. Your wearable technology will let you know how many steps you’ve walked or how far you’ve run. You can even put your tracker data online through a convenient phone app, letting friends and fellow fitness fans give you the encouragement you need.

2: Proactive health support

In some cases, even the earliest symptoms of a condition may come too late to warn patients that they need to seek help. By the time you experience any discomfort or a decline in your well-being, your condition may have advanced to a point where it’s harder to address. Wearable technology can track your vital signs and give you valuable heads-up if something isn’t right. There have been some dramatic cases in the media where a fitness tracker caught a serious disease, such as heart disease, just before a significant episode. Most situations aren’t as dramatic, but it can still be useful to get help for a developing medical issue early rather than late.

3: Keeping people engaged with their health

Dealing with a long-term illness can be frustrating and exhausting. It’s tempting for many sufferers to try and forget that they’re sick, perhaps attempting to go back to the lifestyle they had before their diagnosis. This is understandable, but it can also be dangerous.

Wearable technology, however, helps give people coping with health issues a sense of control. When you’re able to monitor your vital signs whenever you need to, you can track your progress in real-time. It’s much easier for patients to stay engaged with their healthcare if they have this kind of support.

4: Additional functions

Most people shopping for wearable technology are looking for something like a fitness tracker or a personal organizer. Wearable tech can perform many more functions, however. Smart hearing aids are just one example. These can make life easier for people with hearing loss by adapting to different situations, automatically shifting between modes as someone moves from, say, a quiet car to a busy street or a crowded restaurant.

5: Protecting vulnerable patients
In the past, it has often been hard to balance the need for independence and personal liberty with the need to monitor a patient’s vital signs carefully. Wearable technology makes it much easier for a patient’s exercise, heart rate, and other data to be tracked. A wearable device can also summon help for a vulnerable person if anything goes wrong. If the wearer should suddenly have a drop in blood pressure, for instance, they might be unable to make an emergency call before becoming incapacitated. A wearable device could detect the issue and contact support staff, a doctor, or the emergency services. Choosing the best health wearable will depend on your specific needs. For some people, a more fully-featured device like a smartwatch could be ideal. For others, a more dedicated fitness tracker might be a better bet. You can even find accessories that are geared to a particular type of exercise, such as waterproof swim trackers. Whatever kind of health wearable you pick, remember that the data is not a substitute for regular health checkups from a medical professional.

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