The Future of Wearable Tech in mHealth
Right from the beginning, wearable technology has gone hand in hand with the rise of mHealth, and it’s no wonder since the two industries complement each other so well. 2015 has been a big year for mHealth with plenty of new developments and projects being announced, such as Google Glass EE and Apple’s Research Kit.
The future is looking bright for mHealth, and here’s a few developments we can expect in the coming months.
Google Glass Enterprise Edition
If you can remember the first iteration of Google Glass, you’ll probably need some rose-tinted lenses to remember it fondly.
But if the rumours are true then it looks like Google Glass is ready for it’s comeback of sorts.
Learning from its failures in the consumer market, Google Glass Enterprise Editon (or Google Glass EE for short) will mainly be dished out to Google’s ‘Glass at Work’ partners, who represent a range of industries from healthcare to manufacturing.
As for practical implications, surgeons can use Glass to record and stream straight from the operating theatre, and monitor a patient’s vital statistics without taking their eyes off the delicate work they are performing. Similarly, field engineers can stream video on-site to colleagues elsewhere for them to assist with the task at hand; we’ve even seen Glass improve customer service in the airline industry.
Google Glass has already shown massive promise within the healthcare sector, but with EE comes an added focus which could be highly beneficial for the mHealth industry since Glass at Work partners have been given a free reign over the technology to optimise it for their own use.
While we may miss mocking ‘Explorers’, we’re pleased to see the continued impact Glass will make on our healthcare.
If you haven’t heard about Apple Watch yet then we’ll have to assume you’ve been living under a rock.
As with most new movements in portable tech, Apple has launched its very own app-enabled wearable watch, boosting the smartwatch concept into a commercially viable (dare we say cool?) product. Not only that, but the Apple Watch looks set to be a key player in new mobile health developments.
The watch comes preloaded with a health and fitness tracker for those fitness fans who want to monitor their how much they exert themselves on a daily basis.
The watch also has a range of apps to help clinicians interact with their patients such as the American apps Mayo Clinic Synthesis a patient management system for doctors, and WebMD which reminds patients when to take their medicines. If apps such as these to be a success (and we’re betting they will) the growth curve in the mobile health market will only climb upwards. Smartwatches have the potential to alter patient-doctor interaction and improve healthcare outcomes, and we expect we’ll be seeing a lot from the Apple Watch.
Sticking with the smartwatch theme, here’s Dot. A smartwatch for the visually impaired, and the first of it’s kind.
This smartwatch is all about helping its user feel connected to the world through technology, and we’re sure it’ll be a key contributor to mHealth.
With an e-reader, Bluetooth capabilities, a messaging system and an alarm clock, the Dot has some really impressive functions. It even has learning facilities for those who don’t yet know how to read braille.
Looking not dissimilar to a FitBit, the Dot is a great example of mHealth and wearable technology coming together.
Microsoft’s mystery move into the mHealth industry
Never one to be left out of a party (but sometimes the late one), Microsoft have been eyeing guidelines for developing health related consumer wearables.
They’ve entered the industry by teaming up with the University of California, San Diego to create a set of guidelines for developers, applicable for all mHealth wearables. Which is a clear hint at the longevity of wearables within mHealth.
It’s no surprise that Microsoft want to enter the mHealth wearables industry as it really is booming, and things are progressing at an impressive rate and in true Microsoft style, they’ve tried to cover everything the mHealth could need. From tailoring devices to suit the needs of Doctors, Nurses and Administration staff, to cloud services, to mHealth apps, Microsoft has a toe in every mHealth pool.
Trend or trait?
Consumers continue to snap up mHealth wearables and it’s easy to see why. With such a wide range of uses there really will be a wearable to suit any consumer, and the key to the success of mHealth wearables is their diversity of function.
Now is the time if you’re thinking of creating an mHealth app, and that’s where we come in. If you have an idea for an mHealth app, or you’re wanting the industry and don’t yet have an idea for an app contact us today. Our team of designers and developers are bursting with mHealth app ideas.