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Wearable Tech's Massive Impact on Fitness and Its Evolution into Healthcare
Wearable Tech World Feature Article
January 07, 2016
Wearable Tech's Massive Impact on Fitness and Its Evolution into Healthcare
By Lindsey Patterson
Contributing Writer

Wearable Technology for Fitness

The value of wearable technology has been tremendous for the fitness sector already. Discreet, wearable devices allow users to keep track of various fitness statistics throughout the day. For instance, devices can track the number of steps taken, the level of cardio workout achieved, and the position and posture of users. Each of these statistics can be used to create a personalized workout plans for users, to help keep them on target, and to meet new fitness goals. 

One such device is the FitBit, which is a wearable device that tracks users’ steps to help them be more aware of their level of exercise each day. This technology also allows users to track their stats online, so that they can get a bigger picture of their overall fitness trends. Wearable technology is useful not only because of the stats it collects, but for its ability to transmit this data to an online repository where users can view their own history. The technology has huge implications for treating obesity, since it gives the wearer an accurate look at their activity levels and allows them to track their exercise goals on a daily basis. 

There are many new directions that wearable tech can go in. For instance, the devices may continue to get smaller until they are almost invisible, as the technology needed to power them shrinks. Another direction is for multi-point sensor devices that can take more accurate readings and coordinate with each other. And, as more research is done to calibrate these devices, we may see them becoming extremely accurate, enough to be useful in the health sphere as well. 

Leaders in Wearable Tech

There are a few major players in the current wearable tech market. The obvious leader is FitBit, with its technologies for tracking users’ movements. The runner up for the current wearable tech market is Apple (News - Alert), with products like the Apple watch. Companies like Xiaomi, Garmin, and Samsung are also companies to watch out for in the upcoming years.

Reports say that the value of the wearable technology industry is growing. The estimated value is over 30 billion by the year 2020, according to a recent market research study. Technologies like VSAT services, miniature GPS systems, and hadoop reporting have helped this industry to grow, and it will only continue to grow as more applications are found in the health and fitness sectors and beyond. 

Predictions for the Future of Wearable Tech in Health

While we have already started to see a lot of great applications for wearable technology in fitness, there is a lot of untapped potential to make wearable tech a vital part of the medical community. Devices like FitBit have shown that it’s possible to track some of users’ activities and vital signs, and that people will wear these technologies reliably as long as they are comfortable. 

Devices that can track users’ vital signs on a daily basis could be incredibly useful in the world of health care. Imagine a device that could track your vitals, send it to a remote, online storage facility, and aggregate these data over time. This would give doctors a very useful look into your health, beyond the vitals and information that they could get during the short window of your doctor’s visit. It would give them a better look at your heart rate and exercise rate over time, for instance, so that they could make more personalized recommendations about your lifestyle and health. Not only are these readings a more convenient option, but they could also be more accurate since they are drawn from a larger pool of data. 

As you can see, the wearable technology industry has many potential benefits for those looking to get in shape or for those who need to improve their wellness. With powerful players such as Apple looking into these technologies, there is a lot of promise for the future of wearable tech in the health and fitness industries.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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