SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Mobile IoT, Agile Computing

@ThingsExpo: Blog Post

Five Wearable Gadgets to Help You Live Longer | @ThingsExpo #IoT

Here we look at five great wearable technology products that everyone should own to help increase their life expectancy

Can wearable technology help to prolong your life? We already know more conventional forms of tech, can save lives in a definitive manner, as well as keep people in comas and other unconscious states alive for an indeterminate period of time, but how can smaller, wearable gadgets help to perform similar tasks to benefit our health?

As unlikely as it might seem, wearable tech is actually beginning to shape the future of healthcare. The most obvious use for wearables within the health industry is for patients to don a wristband, or something similar, to monitor their vital statistics and other aspects of their internal health and remotely provide medical professionals with real-time information. This will, not only, put less financial pressure on families and care homes, where funding might be difficult to find, but could also eventually lead to the end of the "pulling a sickie" era, as the information provided by wearable tech could allow employers to determine how unwell you actually were.

Possibilities for the future of wearable tech in the healthcare industry are seemingly limitless, and there are already various products available on the market that can allow us to monitor certain aspects of our health and help us to ascertain whether we should visit a doctor or seek another form of medical assistance. Ultimately, this tech could be the first step towards a point at which we could all live indefinitely (or much longer than we currently do, at least)!

Apple Watch
Although not strictly classified as a piece of wearable, health technology, the Apple Watch is nevertheless a great example of the ways in which almost any wearable gadget can be used to monitor health in an real-time format. Although the watch has a vast selection of functions, its health and fitness features are what has caught the eye, prompting users to stand up and move about if it deems them to have been sitting stationary for too long. In addition, it tracks resting and active heart rates and it comprehensively monitors and stores data from cardio-based exercises, so users can see visual confirmation of their progress.

Jawbone UP
Jawbone UP is a combined wristband and smartphone program designed to tailor a fitness and dietary programme specifically to each user's needs. Also compatible with various existing fitness apps, Jawbone's Smart Coach feature allows the user to monitor what they are eating, how much exercise they are doing and what their sleep patterns are like. The idea is to optimise performance throughout the day in every way possible, and with three different wristband types to choose between, users can customise their fitness programmes like never before.

Fitbit
Fitbit is very similar to Jawbone UP in terms of the way it works - it's also a smart wristband combined with a phone app management tool - but it offers crucial differences that ensure it stands apart from its rival. Although it is not fully integrated with a user's phone, like the Apple Watch, its most sophisticated version can be used to see text and call notifications, as well as control music playlists, but its fitness features are naturally where most of its strengths lie.

It can record the effects of an abundance of major exercise activities; everything from cross-training to weight training, running to hiking, as well as help wearers tweak their daily routines with GPS and heart rate tracking. The idea is to provide them with a clear view of how effective their fitness regimes currently are and how they could be improved.

In addition, Fitbit, like the Jawbone UP, tracks sleep patterns, allowing users to determine how often they awake in the night, as well as how restless they were and the total amount of hours and minutes they slept for.

Microsoft Band
With the Microsoft Band you can gain comprehensive tracking and progress stats on a daily basis, whatever your main form of exercise might be. It is particularly effective at tracking cycling activity, with speed, distance and elevation all taken into account.
Fitness partners, such as Men's Health, also upload workouts to keep things fresh and exciting when you hit the gym. In addition, the Band acts as a social media, messaging and Starbucks coffee purchasing tool.

Bellabeat LEAF
Designed exclusively for women, the Bellabeat LEAF is a stylish pendant that can be worn as a necklace, bracelet or clipped onto an item of clothing.

Not only does it track sleep patterns and the level of activity the wearer does throughout the day, but it also provides insights into the menstrual cycle and the way in which it affects the wearer's overall health throughout the month.
Its intention is to help the wearer perform to their best and feel their best at all times by making small adjustments to daily routines, and includes additions like breathing exercises to achieve this.

From measuring your heartrate and tailoring your fitness regime, to gaining tips on how to sleep better, the above examples show clear ways in which tech has advanced over the last few years. With wearable technology already making an increasing amount of people fitter and healthier - and potentially prolonging their lives - we can only imagine what advances might be in store for the next decade.

More Stories By Sebastian Bos

Sebastian Bos has a great interest in the health care sector and how wearable technology could play a large role in it. It is time for wearable tech companies to start thinking about the potential role it could play in helping the vulnerable.

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