Smart watches in healthcare

A recent study, led by Auckland University Business School researcher Ruhi Bajaj, delves into the transformative potential of smartwatches in healthcare.

The exploration is not without its challenges. Concerns over interpreting smart watch data, and the resulting increase in workload, are key obstacles to seamless integration of this technology into healthcare.

Ruhi’s study identified heart rate as a crucial parameter for effective data visualisation and anomaly detection. Leveraging data from Fitbit users over five months,
a machine-learning-model was crafted to discern irregular heartbeats.

The resultant prototype empowered healthcare providers to visualise long-term smart watch data, spot anomalies, and effectively communicate concerns to their patients.
In the final phase, over half of the study’s healthcare providers rated the prototype positively for usability. Ruhi envisions wearables transforming healthcare from a reactive stance to a proactive and prescriptive model.

Top of the range smart watches may monitor body temperature, identify sleep stages, measure blood oxygen levels, perform ECG readings, alert users to irregular heartbeat rhythms, and even employ crash detection via accelerometers in emergencies. They really could save your life, and at the very least improve it.

The culmination of this study can be explored in the March 2023 edition of Future Internet:

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