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As the latest form of mobile device and digital health assistance, wearables are showing a strong hold on the market, especially when people are now more conscious about their fitness and well-being. In fact, during the CES 2015, wearable technologies are among the highlights of the show. Previously, we showcased wearables that are able to help people with ADHD, anxiety, and depression. The trend on devices assisting patients with particular medical needs will flourish more in the coming years with the release of two more wearables for measuring glucose count and for monitoring seizure attack.
Google’s Smart Contact Lens for Diabetics
Google was reported to have partnered with pharmaceutical giant Novartis to build the world’s first smart contact lens, which is said to assist people with diabetes in getting real-time blood sugar count through non-invasive means. The lenses have built-in tiny sensors that measure glucose via the tears of the users. Apart from assisting diabetics, it also has the ability to help those patients with astigmatism. No further update was provided by both companies, but they are looking at releasing the device later this year or in early 2016.
Smartwatches for Patients with Epilepsy
One of the most in-demand crowdfunded projects in Indiegogo is the health band Embrace by Empatica. Currently, it has a backing of $617,149 collectively worldwide. On its Indiegogo page, it claims to be the “first medical-quality wearable” to measure epileptic seizures. The device comes with two paired applications for smartphones: the Empatica Mate that monitors stress levels, sleep patterns, and activity feedback of the patient wearing the band, and the Empatica Alert that informs the family member or carer when a seizure happens. Embrace by Empatica is expected to be released in October 2015.
Currently, the top smartwatches and fitness bands have the ability to track a person’s heart rate, monitor stress levels and sleep patterns, and provide quick information on the calories burned for the day. Some can even provide mobile functionalities, such as activating call and text features and browsing the internet, to provide its users more health-related information via their doctor’s assistance or online.
To protect consumers, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a list of guidelines for purchasing wearables and any medical devices on the market. The organization cited that these devices must promote general wellness by assisting the user to monitor their health and fitness by enhancing their lives, and must “not claim to cure things like obesity or insomnia.”
Developments are still ongoing for wearable technologies, making it a great platform to innovate and experiment more possible medical functions that can assist its users in tracking their well-being in this digital age.
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