Advantages and disadvantages of Wearable biosensors for healthcare monitoring

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Wearable biosensors for healthcare monitoring and its types. It mentions benefits or advantages of wearable biosensors and drawbacks or disadvantages of wearable biosensors.

Introduction: Wearable technology is rapidly growing as it enables easy tracking of movement of people, their biometrics and health data. Advances in sensor technology, miniaturization and manufacturing processes have reduced the cost of producing wearable sensors. The characteristics such as light weight, compact in size and easy to wear making them convenient for everyday use to enhance quality of life and improvement in health care.

Wearable biosensors and their types

Wearable biosensors are devices which are designed to be worn on the body and are equipped with sensors capable of monitoring various physiological parameters. These sensors detect and measure specific biological signals of the people who wear them. The collected biometric data is transmitted to a compatible device or platform for further analysis and interpretation.

Wearable biosensors can provide real time monitoring of wide range of health related information as follows.
• They use ECG sensors to measure electrical activity of heart by monitoring heart rate, arrhythmias and provide insights into cardiac health.
• They use optical sensors and other technologies to estimate blood pressure.
• They use accelerometers and gyroscopes to track physical activities such as distance traveled, steps taken and calories burned.
• Certain wearable biosensors can measure temperature of body at regular intervals.
• GSR sensors measure electrical conductivity of the skin.
• PPG sensors can estimate heart rate, heart rate variability, SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) and can detect changes in blood pressure.

Following table mentions list of wearable biosensors for healthcare monitoring with their manufacturers and features.

Wearable biosensors with manufacturers Features
Philips Biosensor BX100 It is a wearable biosensor which continuously monitor vital signs including heart rate, respiratory rate and body position. It is developed for hospitals and healthcare facilities to enhance patient monitoring and early detection of potential complications.
Owlet Smart Sock 2 baby monitor It is used to track baby's heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep using clinically proven pulse oxymetry. This device alerts parents if there are any abnormalities, providing peace of mind and assist them in early detction of potential health issues.
MightySat® Rx Fingertip Pulse Oximeter from Masimo Corporation USA The device measures oxygen saturation, pulse rate, perfusion index, respiration rate etc.
Quell Wearable Pain Relief Device from NeuroMetrix, Inc. Quell is a wearable device which provides non-invasive pain relief for individuals suffering from chronic pain. It uses neurostimulation technology to stimulate sensory nerves and block pain signals. This offers a drug free alternative for managing pain.
VitalPatch from VitalConnect This wearable biosensor patch continuously monitors multiple vital signs such as heart rate, respiratory rate, skin temperature, body posture and falls. It can be used for remote patient monitoring, post operative care and in hospital settings.
Zio Patch from iRhythm Technologies It is a single use waterproof biosensor patch designed for cardiac monitoring specifically.
Guardian Kit from AngelSense USA It is a wearable GPS tracking device which protects individuals from wandering and eloping. It consists of GPS tracker, voice monitoring and emergency alerts. It provides caregivers with real time location and safety monitoring.

Benefits or advantages of wearable biosensors

Following are the benefits or advantages of wearable biosensors.
➨These sensors provide continuous monitoring of vital signs and physiological parameters. This real time data collection and its analysis provide valuable insights into individual's health status.
➨They are highly portable and convenient for everyday use. Moreover they are easily worn as standalone devices which allows individuals to track their health and wellness seamlessly.
➨By collecting biometric data using these wearable biosensors, individuals can make informed decisions about their lifestyle, exercise, sleep and overall well-being.
➨These sensors enable remote patient monitoring which allows healthcare professionals to track patients' vital signs remotely. Hence they can assess health status of patients and intervene if necessary. This helps patients to reduce their hospital visits and lead early detection of health issues.
➨The continuous monitoring of health data can help individuals to stay on top of their treatment plans and make proactive adjustments if required.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of wearable biosensors

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of wearable biosensors.
➨There are variations in accuracy and reliability of collected data among different manufacturer devices.
➨Secure transmission, storage and handling of health data over internet is crucial to maintain confidentiality and protect privacy.
➨Some users may struggle with consistent usage of wearable biosensors. Engaging them and promoting long term compliance can be challenge.
➨The numerous wearable biosensors generate huge amount of data. It requires expertise to analyze and extract meaningful insights from the collected data for different patients.
➨The wearable biosensors which provide more features and accurate readings are usually expensive.

Also refer Biosensor basics and types >> and advantages and disadvantages of Fitness trackers >>

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