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Tracking health with smart devices

By Admin | November 29, 2017

Fitness trackers like Apple’s popular iWatch and the Fitbit can already monitor a wearer’s sleeping habits, heart rate and steps with impressive accuracy.

But what will these devices be able to do in the future?

Three biomedical experts say future wearable smart devices will be able to:

  • Track blood pressure. Harry Asada's robotics team at MIT, among others, are working on a way to get accurate blood pressure readings without piercing the skin. It’s possible that devices could be developed for the wrist, ear canal, or chest. But for these technologies to be accurate, research and development will most likely take a few more years.

  • Track blood sugar. Again, the difficulty is that piercing the skin is necessary, and while needles have become smaller and less painful, putting one into a smartwatch doesn’t sound appealing or plausible. However, countless companies, including Apple, are working on a solution, which is still years away.
  • Tracking mental health. Right now, experts are trying to figure out how tracking activity can properly record a person’s mental health status. Mental health expert Thomas Insel, for example, is undergoing a study monitoring people’s keyboard behavior against episodes of mania and depression. Experts feel this technology is two to five years away, but getting it to market will take around a decade.

For more about the future of tracking health with wearable technology, read “What smartwatches and other wearables can't track today— but might in the future” by CNBC.

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