Wearable devices to help the high-quality development of the healthcare industry
“COVID-19 has brought awareness to the importance of timely medical data in helping to identify vulnerable and high-risk groups. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, medical wearables and other connected medical devices could provide the long-term data needed to warn of potential health problems. Wearables are likely to play an even bigger role in healthcare after this pandemic is over.
COVID-19 has brought awareness to the importance of timely medical data in helping to identify vulnerable and high-risk groups. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, medical wearables and other connected medical devices could provide the long-term data needed to warn of potential health problems. Wearables are likely to play an even bigger role in healthcare after this pandemic is over. By providing continuously updated measurements of key vital signs, wearables will help reduce treatment time, freeing healthcare workers from performing necessary but time-consuming measurements, allowing them to focus on patient care. Here, we’ll explore how wearables can provide a long-term, effective solution to providing healthcare workers with the essential patient data they need.
The importance of vital signs monitoring
Vital sign monitoring often gives health care providers the first glimpse of a patient’s condition or chronic health problem. As a result, for decades, an individual’s key vital signs, including temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, and blood pressure, have been measured before entering a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital. In certain health conditions, peripheral blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) and other physiological indicators have become increasingly important and are also included in the measurement of vital signs.
Physicians with solid professional training and clinical experience can detect underlying pathological problems through changes in major vital signs or abnormal readings, including:
• Body temperature, which can reflect the body’s immune system’s response to infection or other conditions.
• Heart rate to help detect possible heart problems.
• Respiratory rate, which reflects overall cardiovascular health and provides a particularly important indicator of possible cardiorespiratory problems.
• Blood pressure, which reflects cardiovascular health and various other diseases.
With the development of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, vital sign monitoring has become especially important. Fever is seen as a relatively reliable predictor of COVID-19 and is quickly and widely used as a relatively reliable predictor of COVID-19 by healthcare workers who have found that infection with the SARS COV-2 virus that caused the outbreak induces an immune response in the body, which in turn leads to elevated body temperature. The main means of screening suspected cases. In fact, full regular monitoring of vital signs is still very important for those who are considered high risk due to age, chronic health problems or possible compromised immune systems.
For those infected with SARS-CoV-2, physicians monitor a range of vital signs to monitor the progression of COVID-19 disease. For example, SpO2Measurements are critical for detecting a drop in blood oxygen saturation, which is linked to the virus’s respiratory hazards. People with COVID-19 have low oxygen saturation and their breathing rate rises as the cardiorespiratory system tries to get more oxygen. As further development of the disease will seriously affect human health, frequent monitoring of patients’ vital signs becomes critical.
Monitoring vital signs with wearable technology
For each vital sign, the corresponding wearable technology has been or will be launched on the market to monitor the vital signs regularly for a long time as needed. For example, body temperature wearables, which have been widely adopted by hospitals, especially in many neonatal wards, allow infants to wear tiny wireless temperature sensor patches that allow healthcare workers to monitor body temperature without disturbing other small patients.
Smartwatches and fitness bands with built-in heart rate monitors (HRM) not only provide users with basic heart rate measurements, but also serve as the basis for advanced technology to detect other health problems. Digital health tech startup Cardiogram and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) conducted research using heart rate data provided by HRM smartwatches and found that even using regular heart rate data can provide detection of atrial fibrillation or other arrhythmias. Their further research found that heart rate data could provide an early indicator of diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions. Other types of heart rate data analysis also provide measurements of heart rate variability (HRV) to detect physiopathological (such as cardiovascular disease) and psychological (such as anxiety or depression) problems that affect health and life.
Other analytical techniques can also derive SpO using the same type of optical sensors used in HRM smartwatches and fitness wearables.2, respiratory rate and blood pressure data without the need for separate pulse oximeter clips, chest straps or blood pressure cuffs. Likewise, other wearable and measurement technologies can generate electrocardiograms with sufficient resolution to alert doctors to the need for a more in-depth examination.
In the long term, wearables can also help ensure compliance for patients who do not need to go to a clinic or even at home for treatment with large medical devices. In fact, even though some wearable medical device measurements often show reduced variability and resolution, their data can often still provide early warnings to health care providers.
Enhanced Healthcare Surveillance with Key Companion Technologies
Advanced sensor technology and sophisticated analytics are just one piece of the wearable healthcare puzzle, and many other technologies are needed to enable continuous vital signs monitoring. Wearable developers can take advantage of a wide range of wireless connectivity solutions, including microcontrollers with integrated radio subsystems to provide Bluetooth 5 and other connectivity.
Wearables can employ standard security mechanisms to provide a high level of data confidentiality and integrity for the medical data chain. Wearables based on wireless microcontrollers can securely send medical data to mobile devices, local networks and even the cloud. These Bluetooth devices also provide the basis for contact tracing algorithms to avoid compromising individual privacy or safety in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak. These Bluetooth devices and other ultra-low-power devices have the capabilities and performance to support more complex medical algorithms without compromising the limited power budgets of battery-operated products.
Wearables are small and comfortable to wear, enabling unobtrusive measurements at the update rate and duration of measurements required by physicians, without further burdening healthcare workers. Fortunately for those who are helping humanity recover from the pandemic and looking for long-term solutions to improve human health and well-being, existing underlying wearable technology and analytics capabilities can be leveraged to advance the healthcare industry. developing.
about the author
Stephen Evanczuk has more than 20 years of experience writing in the electronics industry, covering a wide range of topics including hardware, software, systems, and applications such as the Internet of Things. He received his Ph.D. in Neural Network Neuroscience and has worked in the aerospace industry on large-scale distributed safety systems and algorithm acceleration methods. Currently, in his spare time writing technical and engineering articles, he is still researching the application of deep learning in recognition and recommendation systems.
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