‘Wearables could make treatment significantly easier and less stigmatic for patients’
SAN FRANCISCO –WT/Wearables Technologies Group has been watching the growth of wearable devices and their advance into the health care space. Christian Stammel, founder and CEO, believes wearables are much more than fitness trackers—they are essential to the digitization of health care. Here are some of his thoughts on the transformative power of wearable devices.
HHTN: How are wearable devices impacting the delivery of health care?
Stammel: They are impacting new treatment methods and are actually creating new methods of diagnosis monitoring and medication across all aspects of medical care—from prevention and inpatient/outpatient care to rehabilitation. The spectrum ranges from intelligent band-aids for measuring blood sugar levels to patches that deliver the individually required quantity of drugs to intelligent pills that are able to monitor the correct drug administration. Wearables have become an everyday item and are available for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and asthma, and make life much easier for patients and provide physicians with a lot more information about their conditions than conventional methods.
HHTN: What makes wearable technology so transformative?
Stammel: The monitoring of vital data is central to helping people who are suffering from chronic and acute illnesses. This is where wearables can deliver optimum solutions for monitoring almost any type of complaint at home or in clinics. Precisely tailored wearables are also available for specific diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, asthma, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and are becoming new options for monitoring newborns and pregnant women.
HHTN: Is the growth of the wearables market keeping pace with the booming growth of other health care technologies?
Stammel: There is certainly an indication of the continuously growing demand for wearables. More than 150 million wearable products were sold across the world last year, making it a market that will have doubled by 2020. Initial forecasts estimate that 400 million wearables will be sold in 2020, and a good 50% of this figure will be medical wearables. The market for smart patches, in particular, will probably make up a very high share of this market.
HHTN: What do you expect to see in the future for wearable technology?
Stammel: Advancing miniaturization technology is going to deliver solutions for medical monitoring that are increasingly small and more pleasant for patients to use. Medical wearables are being increasingly developed in the form of smart patches that will enable patients to use long-term monitoring products and even receive medication in such a way that is almost invisible to others. This means that wearables could make treatment significantly easier and less stigmatic for patients.