Connected devices are working their way into the healthcare field. Doctors and nurses are starting to use wearable tech to help monitor their patients from afar — using technology to collect patient data that would usually be taken at the doctor’s office.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is working with cloud-based technology company Medidata to develop activity trackers that gather data on cancer patients, logging their day-to-day actions in hopes doctors will find it easier to treat and potentially one day diagnose cancer.
The band from AliveCor just earned FDA approval to read heart rates through the Apple Watch
Apple reportedly is also working on embedding its smartwatch with an EKG reader of its own
. And researchers have also turned to the Apple Watch to use the device to monitor and collect information on those with Major Depressive Disorder.
MIT engineers have devised a 3-D printing technique that uses a new kind of ink made from genetically programmed living cells. Photo: Courtesy of MIT/the researchers
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed “living ink” tattoos, which contain genetically programmable living cells. When cells are exposed to different chemicals or molecular compounds, they react, causing parts of the tattoo to light up.
The tattoo is made up of bacteria cells, which the researchers were able to 3D print into the shape of a tree.
Each branch of that tree is sensitive to a different reactor, and when the tattoo is placed on skin that has also been exposed to that same reactor (like a certain chemical), the corresponding branch lights up. They can become wearable sensors.
Health is an area where Internet of Things devices are already being used to lower insurance premiums for those who agree to wear the devices and to share data with insurance companies. wearables like FitBit have been tied to several insurance premiums.
Other areas of consumer related lifestyle data include the use of vehicle telematics devices (devices that enhance navigation, safety and communication features). Those who agree to have these devices integrated with their vehicles can see lower car insurance costs.
Networked smoke detectors for informal settlements, in the townships of South Africa have been developed by the company Lumkani. Lumkani is described as “the world’s first networked heat-detector designed specifically for a slum environment.
Lumkani devices are networked to each other using radio frequency. When a fire is detected, the alarm sounds in all homes within a 40 meter radius. A variable sound is used signal to users when a fire is in a separate dwelling.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips are tracking livestock for insurance, such as the IFFCO-Tokio system. IFFCO-Tokio is piloting a cattle insurance project targeting more than 25,000 poor farmers and their families in the Indian states of Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Orissa.
Jacquard technology is woven right into the sleeve.
Tiny electronics contained in the flexible snap tag connect the Jacquard Threads in the jacket’s cuff in your mobile device. The snap tag lets you know about incoming information, like a phone call, by giving you light and haptic feedback. The tag also houses the battery which can last up to 2 weeks between USB charges.
Eventually, you will be able to control not just Google services through your clothes, but also third-party services like Spotify and Strava.
Identify theft, data leaks, discrimination from employers and increasing insurance costs are just some of the fallout predicted from the rise of wearable technology.
The use of trackers, smart watches, Internet-connected clothing, and other wearables becomes more widespread, and as their functionalities become even more sophisticated, the extent and nature of data collection will be unprecedented
These data can, in turn, be combined with personal information from other sources— including health-care providers and drug companies—raising such potential harms as discriminatory profiling, manipulative marketing, and data breaches.
According to the Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights in Washington DC records that there were 253 health-care breaches across the United States in 2015 that affected 500 individuals or more, resulting in a combined loss of over 112 million records.
‘The opportunities for data breaches will increase, with hackers accessing medical and health information at insurance companies, retail chains, and other businesses