Not too long ago, everyone was using their phone to track their running progress. It was a pain to carry while running. There was a need for something lighter and smaller with the same tracking capabilities. So when the first fitness bands were released, we eagerly jumped onto the wearable technology bandwagon. Small, light and smart, these wearables instantly made it more convenient to track our fitness - the very appeal of wearables.
Unsurprisingly, the wearable technology sector has fast gained popularity since it appeared on the scene. Looking at the graph below, you can see that global shipments of wearables, such as smartwatches and fitness bands, have been on the rise.
Typically, wearables collect huge volumes of data, allowing its users to monitor their health and fitness easily. For example, Fitbit not only allows you to track the amount of calories burned but also the distance covered.
Application of Wearables
Using wearable health monitors, professional caretakers can now observe their patients without being physically by their side. Biotech companies such as Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies have been manufacturing wearable devices to help patients with Parkinson’s disease. When worn on the finger, the device helps gather information on the movements of the patient during certain tasks.
Fitness continues to be the dominant area for the application of wearable technology. Fitness bands, such as Fitbit and Mi Band, and smart watches like Apple watches are light, portable and allow users to track fitness-related data such as calories consumption, sleeping patterns and the number of steps taken.
California-based start-up, GOQii, has even produced wearables that allow its user to communicate with a personal coach. The personal coach receives data about the individual from the band who then uses it to provide personal coaching advice to the user.
With wearable devices, insurers now can even examine an individual’s state of health more accurately and price premiums accordingly. Typically, insurance premiums are priced according to an individual’s age. The way premiums work is that they usually increase with the age of the individual—which may be unfair towards elderly individuals with little or no health issues.
Refusing to stop at just health and fitness, wearable technology is developing to serve many other industries as well. With increasing consumer demand, this sector presents the potential for major growth.