What are sensors and wearables?
Recent advances in telecommunications, microelectronics, sensor manufacturing and data analysis techniques have opened up new possibilities for using wearable technology in the digital health ecosystem to achieve a range of health outcomes.
In the past, the size of sensors and front-end electronics made it too difficult to use them in wearable tech to gather physiological and movement data.
Now, with miniature circuits, microcontroller functions, front-end amplification and wireless data transmission, wearable sensors can now be deployed in digital health monitoring systems.
Sensors and wearables allow continuous physiological monitoring with reduced manual intervention and at low cost.
Sensors and wearables can be integrated into various accessories such as garments, hats, wrist bands, socks, shoes, eyeglasses and other devices such as wristwatches, headphones and smartphones. Some sensors, mostly medical-grade ones, are used on a stand-alone basis.
Many wearable tech products use multiple digital health sensors that are typically integrated into sensor networks comprising other body-worn sensors and/or ambient sensors.
Some monitoring systems require the gathered sensor and wearables data to be uploaded to a remote site such as a hospital server for further clinical analysis.
With the advent of cloud-computing, many wearable sensor systems can now be easily upgraded without the need for user installation of software in their monitoring devices, which makes it easier and cheaper to maintain the health monitoring system networks.
How are sensors and wearables used in digital health?
As technology matures, and wearables and sensors are further miniaturized, more novel applications for healthcare will be developed..............................................