2. Wearable Technology
The Internet of Things doesn’t just benefit those who are seriously ill or elderly, though. A wave of wearable devices hit the market a few years back targeting fitness-minded consumers.
Since then, the technology and functionality of wearable devices has expanded beyond calorie trackers and mini pedometers, and healthcare and insurance companies are recognizing the connectivity and health benefits that wearables offer.
Similar to remote monitoring devices, insurance companies can help their customers prevent illness, injury, and subsequent hospital visits by encouraging individuals to track and monitor their own health with wearables. With timely and insightful data presented in an intuitive manner, wearables can inspire a consumer to eat healthier, be more active, and stay in tune with his body’s behavior.
Companies like Humana and UnitedHealthcare offer health discounts to companies that actively deploy and use wearables to measure fitness levels and promote healthy living among their employees.
In the past year, we’ve seen wearables expand beyond the commercialized fitness bands and into more versatile designs and products.
For example, OMsignal offers a machine-washable T-shirt embedded with sensors designed to measure an individual’s vital signs and send him alerts through a connected device when he needs to rest or relax.
LifeBeacon has developed a medical alert pendant that connects through cellular signal and uses GPS technology, expanding the functionality of the device to wherever it’s worn rather than simply the home.
Additionally, Google Glass is already poised to disrupt the healthcare field. Doctors wearing Google Glass can access a patient’s electronic medical records through voice commands during an examination, and surgeons can project a patient’s vital signs while operating.