Wearable technology is often used to monitor a user’s health. Given that such a device is in close contact with the user, it can easily collect data.

Wearables can be used to collect data on a user’s health including:

  • Heart rate
  • Calories burned
  • Steps walked
  • Blood pressure
  • Time spent exercising

These functions are often bundled together in a single unit, like an activity tracker or a smartwatch like the Apple Watch Series 2 or Samsung Galaxy Gear Sport. Devices like these are used for physical training and monitoring overall physical health.

Currently other applications within healthcare are being explored, such as:

  • Measuring blood alcohol content
  • Measuring athletic performance
  • Monitoring how sick the user is
  • Health Risk Assessment applications, including measures of frailty and risks of age-dependent diseases

While wearables can collect data in aggregate form, they have yet to analyze or make conclusions based on this data. Wearables cannot account for the differing health needs of an individual; they can only collect data. Because of this, wearables are used primarily for information about general well-being but not for making decisions about one’s health.

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