Single-Use Wearable Health Devices More Popular Than Multifunction Tools or Apps

There are more and more examples of wearable health technology on the market than ever before, but the likelihood is low that we’ll soon see one device that does many things, or see smartphone apps take the place of devices, according to industry experts.

FitBit is the best-known health information device, but there are a litany of even more specialized devices on the market. These include blood pressure smartwatches and monitors, under-skin glucose monitors, pain relief cuffs and a device that tracks the posture of the wearer.

Unlike inexpensive or free smartphone apps, the sensors used in these specialized devices aren’t as cheap. In addition, developers of health-monitoring smartphone apps could face something of a disconnect – although 60 percent of broadband-connected U.S. households contain at least one person with a chronic condition, (according to Parks Associates) only 7 percent of the country’s population has a smartwatch. Similarly, although 76 percent of people with diabetes own a smartphone, but only 24 percent use an app to manage their condition.

“If you could develop a $50 patch that could measure everything, that would be different,” said Jim Pursley, chief commercial officer for Livongo Health, which makes a glucose monitor for diabetes sufferers.”But I’m not sure we’re close to getting there.”

There are smartwatches with motion and heart rate sensors on the market, but they are usually not considered by the FDA to have sufficient levels of accuracy, safety, or effectiveness. The FitBit device has itself been the subject of criticism for allegedly misleading readings.

Read more at CNET

Copyright information for above image: nk2549 / 123RF Stock Photo

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