From digital networks to wearable, the health care industry is undergoing massive technological changes. The wearable fitness and personal health devices market is expanding rapidly and is expected to become a $5 billion market in 2016. More and more companies are introducing sophisticated and fashionable wearable electronics products, all fighting for the attention of consumers interested in personal health, fitness culture and quantified self. This continuous data will revolutionize our healthcare system and will lead to micro-personalization of our diets, workouts, homes and medical treatments. Healthcare, which usually evolves slowly, is being revitalized with software developments, hardware inventions, cloud systems, apps, and wearable technology.
But adapting consumer gadgets for clinical use poses challenges, from doubts about the reliability of the data to technical difficulties of collecting and analyzing the information. Privacy and security concerns loom large as well. Privacy advocates worry that as person upload potentially intimate health information into gadgets and apps, there aren’t enough protections to prevent the data from being misused. Some physicians question whether patients will remember to wear such devices — or remember they are wearing them.
Despite such challenges and concerns, the general opinion is that ability to create and capture data is exploding and offers huge potential to save both lives and scarce resources. Identifying people at risk of becoming ill or developing a serious condition and providing the foresight to prescribe preventive measures is a very real possibility. Predictive intelligence and wearable technology have huge potential on a population scale, it will be possible to remove surprises and anticipate pandemics, outbreaks of diseases, and unexpected demand for A&E services.
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