Wearable Tech: Trend or the Future?

Wearable tech is the ‘go to’ topic of the moment and with an increasing foothold in fashion and E-fitness it seems like a trend that is destined to stay. Over the next 5 years it’s expected that more companies will begin developing E-health products and E-textiles, which simply put means we’ll all be wearing our new gadgets sooner rather than later.

At the moment fitness trackers are the number one selling item in health related wearable tech. With approximately 1 in 10 people using fitness trackers their popularity seems to only be growing, although they might soon be surpassed by skin sensors, bio monitors and even headbands which can measure your brainwaves.

Incredible products like these have been demonstrated in conferences and research labs across the globe, sparking a whole new industry in Silicon Valley. It seems like wearable technology could be the next big medical advance, allowing doctors and patients to take highly accurate readings of everything from attention span to blood pressure. These innovations have the potential to help millions of people manage their health, lower levels of preventable diseases in the west and revolutionise mental healthcare.

So does wearable tech have an actual future or is it just another pretty fad? Well a recent study by Forbs found that 71% of 16 – 24 year olds want more wearable technology which is a very good percentage to start with when building a new industry. There is debate as to why they want more, is it just the fashion aspect or is there some genuine concern for their future health? The reality is that it’s probably a mixture of both and their desire for even more amazing gadgets seems likely to inspire an industry boom and technological revolution.

Yet, our group of 16 – 24 year olds aren’t the only ones pushing the wearable tech boat out to sea. Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, former NHS Medical Director outlined how wearable technology could help give independence to an aging population and those living with long term illnesses. Utilising this new technology in medical care could improve patient happiness and level of care, letting patients maintain as much independence as possible while still allowing their health to be monitored daily.

Another big selling point of wearable tech is, that it’s much cheaper to keep people healthy than it is to patch them up once they become ill and both Health institutions and large tech companies are seeing the potential for contracts and the commercial sale of helpful and attractive E-health items.

So it seems as if Sir Bruce is right and wearable technology will be a matter of course when it comes to future health care and just like having a smart phone. Almost everyone will have one, the only difference will be who’s the number one brand to have.