Wearable technologies offer a convenient means of monitoring many physiological features, presenting a multitude of medical solutions. Not only are these devices easy for the consumer to use, but they offer real-time data for physicians to analyze as well. From the Apple Watch’s EKG capabilities to new continuous glucose monitoring systems, wearable medical technologies have a wide range of potential applications in healthcare. Below, DocWire News has compiled five of the top innovations in wearable technologies this year.
First AI Medical Monitoring Wearable Approved by FDA for Home Use
Current Health’s artificial intelligence (AI) wearable device that measures multiple vital signs has recently received FDA-clearance for patients to use at home. In February, the Edinburgh, Scotland-based company received clearance for the AI-enabled device in monitoring patients while in the hospital, but this recent approval means it can now be used between doctor visits at home too.
Walking Data from Wearables Predicting Alzheimer’s Disease
One area of impairment in patients with Alzheimer’s disease is walking mechanics, or gait. Gait speed, symmetry, and stride length are typically reduced in patients with the disease, and their walking speed is much more variable. This can be detected via clinical assessment, with the physician observing the patient walking for a certain distance or duration. Alternatively, patients can be monitored through portable equipment. Sensors within smartphones, watches, and other wearables provide accurate data regarding the patient’s gait, offering a way to continuously monitor one’s walking habits. This information could be enhanced even further with contact sensors in a shoe or sock that provide pressure readings.
Wearable Sweat-Sensor Informs Athletes of Water and Electrolyte Loss
A group of researchers have recently developed a waterproof, bandage-like sweat sensor that tells the wearer when to replenish electrolytes and fluids. This innovative patch collects and analyzes athlete’s perspiration as they exercise in any environment – even swimming.
Described in Science Advances, the patch contains tiny pores on it’s underside that allow the sweat to penetrate the device. Each of these holes contains its own sweat analysis technology, each testing various metrics to analyze if the wearer needs hydration or electrolytes.
Wearable Device Precisely Detects Cancer Cells in Blood
University of Michigan researchers have recently created a wearable device that can continuously collect and examine circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood. These cancer cells are typically obtained via blood samples to provide a biomarker for treatment, but this wrist-worn prototype could potentially screen patients’ blood for a few hours to obtain only the CTCs of interest. These findings were published recently in a Nature Communications paper.
World’s First Wearable Peritoneal Dialysis Device Receives FDA Breakthrough Status
AWAK Technologies, a Singapore-based medical technology company, recently received FDA Breakthrough Device designation for their wearable and portable dialysis device. Called the AWAK Peritoneal Dialysis device, or AWAK PD, the technology uses AWAK’s patented sorbent technology and offers a convenient means of dialysis for renal disease patients.