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Survey of wearable technology device implementations in health care

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Stock / marchmeena29 Professor Ravinder Dahiya, an IEEE Fellow at the University of Glasgow and a professor of electronics and nanoengineering, discusses the growing importance of wearable technology.

The COVID-19 pandemic raises the need for advances in high-tech equipment. Access to face-to-face care is most difficult for those who most need access to medical services, such as socio-economically disadvantaged people and the elderly. As a result of the pandemic, wearable technology devices have become more popular, and primarily users can take more precautions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

These devices are also used to manage the long-term effects of COVID-19. While advances in wearable technology can benefit in supporting the healthcare industry, there is still a long way to go before these devices are widely adopted. The high cost, the potential for these devices to appear unreliable, and the potential for downplaying certain social groups can all hinder the use of these technologies within healthcare.

Health Europa tells IEEE Fellow Professor Ravinder Dahiya of Electronics and Nanoengineering at the University of Glasgow about how wearable technology can help the healthcare sector and the challenges that have not yet been overcome due to the widespread use of these devices. talked. Accepted in the industry.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic advanced the use of wearable technology devices?

Robotics and wearable technology devices are expected to continue to support the growing need for remote medical services, without spatial and temporal constraints. They support the growing demand for medical services among older people who often suffer from reduced mobility and lack of access to specialized medical services. Telemedicine services are expected to gain momentum and expand location coverage with 5G technology marketed in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the importance of providing telemedicine.

How can I use wearable technology devices to solve challenges within the healthcare sector?

The success of wearable technology in the healthcare application and healthcare sector ultimately depends not only on technology acceptance and adoption, but also on continued use of intent. Currently, there is a lack of research on the actual use behavior of new health care devices, expectations for health improvement, and continuous use intentions.

As wearable technology advances, so does security and privacy. What do you think is the biggest problem in developing wearable technology in the iStock / Prostock-Studio healthcare field? For example, what steps do you need to take to ensure the security of your user data?

Be aware of data-related issues. Centralized cloud systems have traditionally been used to manage, process, and store data, but they have two major problems. The first is the delay in processing the data, and the second is that this data puts a heavy load on the performance of the entire network. As wearable technology advances, so does security and privacy. Currently, there is no unified solution for wearable technology security to cover all threats.

Social and cultural preferences can also be an issue, as advanced technology can be considered suspicious. The availability of medical-grade wearable technology or certification is another challenge, as most of today’s wearable technology solutions are primarily for health.

What precautions should users take when monitoring their health using high-tech devices?

Today, you can see advanced solutions such as direct printing of sensors on fabrics and some miniaturized gadgets that are affordable even in low-income countries. However, dexterous robotic hands can easily cost tens of thousands of pounds, which can be a major challenge for robotics in medical care. Recently, laminated modeling is being considered to address cost-related issues.

How do you think wearable technology devices will evolve as a standard for health care in the future?

Energy sources for continuous operation are another challenge common to both robotics and wearable technologies, especially when used in low-resource environments. Energy efficiency is an important wearable constraint due to its small form factor and portability requirements, which prevents the use of large batteries. Low power devices or onboard energy harvesting devices can help meet energy demand. Some advanced features have been added to wearable devices to enable new services and target new use cases. However, they still run on small, resource-constrained devices. As a result, more features can consume more energy and often reduce the quality of the final wearable application. Therefore, energy consumption is considered one of the most important challenges in wearable computing.

Ravinder Dahiya IEEE Fellow and Professor, University of Electronics and Nanotechnology, Glasgow www.gla.ac.uk

This article is from the 19th issue of Health Europa Quarterly. Click here to get a free subscription now.

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