Digital Health and Fitness and Wearables – Explained
What is Digital Health?
Digital Health and Fitness and Wearables. There is no universally accepting definition of digital health. In fact, researchers studying the definition. It recently came across no fewer than 95 published definitions for the concept of digital health. There were, however, some clear patterns. It is an emphasis on how data is using to improve care; there is a focus on the provision of healthcare, rather than the use of technology; and the definitions tend to highlight the well-being of people and populations over the caring of patients with diseases. As used in this article, digital health encompasses the use of digital tools and technologies. To improve and manage an individual’s or a population’s health and wellness.
What Are Wearable Devices?
Wearable devices are a type of new technology using for fitness tracking. And other health-related activities. They usually come in the form of small, sleek wristbands or watches. This can be worn around the clock. And monitor your activity levels. The purpose of these gadgets is often to track data related to health and fitness. The most common consumer types include the Apple Watch, Fitbit, and Google’s Android Wear(or Wear O.S.). But wearables also include accelerometers, gyroscopes, and wearable cameras, which are using more for clinical purposes.
The Health Benefits
In recent years, the wearables market has exploded. These devices have many impressive benefits that can improve your health and overall well-being. Below are some of the most common uses:
1. Monitor Your Health
Wearable devices are a new way to monitor your health. They can track everything from your heart rate to sleep patterns to the number of steps you take. It’s easy for us to lose track of our bodies as we deal with daily life stressors. This is where wearables come in handy. Many of these devices use wireless technology to sync with apps. On a smartphone or a computer allowing you to monitor and track your progress toward health-related goals.
Health-tracking has became more popular over the past few years as it’s showing to help people lose or maintain weight. And, keep an eye on their general wellness. You can also use wearable technology to get reminders about taking medication on time or following a diet plan.
2. Helps People with Chronic Conditions
With wearable devices becoming more advanced. And is less expensive, they have become a more viable option for people with chronic illnesses.
Wearable devices are now using to monitor conditions such as asthma or diabetes by tracking heart rate. Sleep patterns, blood pressure levels, body temperature, and blood oxygen. They can even be using to track symptoms of depression.
It remains unclear how these types of technologies will change future patient-doctor relationships. Wearables, however, appear to be a step in the right direction as they empower the chronically ill to monitor. And in turn, control their healthcare. They may no longer need to wait for doctor’s office visits every day or week. This is to check on them while they are sick.
3. Improves Mental Health
Studies have found a powerful correlation between mental health and physical activity. Because of that reason, wearable devices has been shown to improve mental health as they provide feedback about how much time people spend sedentary or active throughout the day.
With wearable devices like the Apple Watch being marketing as a new generation timepiece, it’s easy to forget they are also excellent tools for measuring stress levels through measuring fluctuations in your heart rate.
Finally, wearable devices can improve your self-esteem. You can track and measure the data in real-time, making you feel more aware of yourself and what you’re doing during the day. The sensors on these devices also provide a sense of achievement as it tells you just how much exercise or steps you’ve taken during the day.
4. Achieve Fitness Goals
Wearable devices are a great way to track progress in achieving fitness goals and stay motivated. We all know how easy it is to get discouraging when you don’t see progress. The data from wearable devices can be used to create graphs as this shows how well you’re doing concerning your goals.
These gadgets have made it possible to achieve your fitness goals without having to go through a significant time commitment or even leaving your home. These devices also help you track your progress with fun exercises that can be running from the comfort of your living room. Plank rows, push-ups, and knee tucks are just a few common examples of activities to do at home without needing any equipment.
Future Applications in Digital Health
Digital health is often used to refer to technology or information and communication technology to promote, diagnose, treat, and monitor one’s health. It also includes the use of communications technologies to collect data for clinical trials. The term is also used as a synonym for e-health and as an all-encompassing term that refers to all aspects of healthcare delivery where information and communications technologies are vital.
In addition to the current benefits of wearable devices, they also seem promising for future developments in digital healthcare. Last year, for example, the American Heart Association awarded a $2.5 million grant to the University of Michigan to establish a “wearable health technology research centre.” The centre aims to investigate how mobile health (mHealth) technology, such as wearable devices, can improve cardiovascular health.
Wearables can also be integrated with electronic medical records (E.M.R.s) to provide personalized preventative strategies. This can provide a provider with a wealth of information about one’s heart rate to spot warning signs before a serious event occurs.
As a result, doctors, for example, can identify which patients are at risk for developing chronic conditions such as obesity or diabetes. Wearables can also help researchers learn more about how various factors affect people’s lives, making it easier for them to establish meaningful research goals.
To sum up, wearable devices are a new frontier in the realm of digital health. They can be used to help people with chronic conditions and improve mental health. They also monitor physical activity, sleep patterns, and stress levels.
Understanding Wearables and Other Digital Health Devices
The FDA describes digital health technologies as those using “computing platforms, connectivity, software, and sensors for health care and related uses,” which covers mobile health, health IT, wearable devices, telehealth, and personalized medicine. The FDA has also shared guidance for software as a medical device, artificial intelligence and machine learning in software as a medical device, cybersecurity, device software functions, health IT, wireless medical devices, and more. With improvements to wearable and digital health technologies driven by R&D, digital health categories are becoming more defined. Wellness wearables and digital health technologies have many similarities, though they provide different capabilities and benefits.
Impact on Trends in Medical Devices
As remote medicine continues to gain momentum, digital health technologies are likely to incorporate more wearable monitoring devices to provide better care personalization and promote preventative health tracking. Atrium Health has paired their MyAtriumHealth app with wearables such as the Fitbit to track health remotely, bringing medical functionality to wearable wellness devices. Additionally, among an evolving regulatory landscape, digital health technologies’ data collection methods can be better implemented for growth areas in chronic condition tracking, women’s health monitoring, and mental health support.