“Fitness” as we’ve come to know it no longer exists. It’s become about more than the physical accolades and flaunting a six pack at the beach. It’s about outperforming the person you were yesterday, using feedback to improve all facets of your health rather than just lower your body fat.
At the forefront of this revolution is the wearable tech movement: your Fitbit, hybrid smart watches like the Apple Watch, and Samsung Gear Fit. What started several years ago as a convenient way to track your daily step count has quickly grown into a veritable explosion of health information available right on your wrist.
From estimating calories burned to tracking sleep and heart rate, it’s never been easier to access your personal stats. But what good is all that information if there’s no clear cut understanding of how to use it for overall improvements? Sure we know we need to get 7-9 hours of sleep, but if you consistently get 8 hours and wake up exhausted, how can you use that knowledge to improve your quality of sleep?
That’s where the future of wearable tech is headed – integration with healthcare to improve our overall well being. Last year the Apple Watch 4 was approved by the FDA to include ECG capability to alert users of irregular heart rhythm and possible Afib. While not technically classified as a “medical device” just yet, achieving clearance suggests this is only the beginning. And with one smart watch slated to hit the market later this year rumored to include glucose monitoring and blood pressure tracking, it seems the future is closer than we might think. In fact just before we published this article Apple announced it was buying Tueo Health, a company focused on developing monitoring aids for asthma.
Experts tend to agree that wearable tech is going to move away from the “fitness” space of simply monitoring your heart rate and step count and aimed more towards improving healthcare for individuals. This includes allowing doctors access to real-time information on patients monitoring health conditions and employer health programs that can incentivize employees. The time when an insurance company may monitor your health activities in exchange for lower rates cannot be far off.
For the average Joe, improved wearable tech means greater communication with their healthcare providers and hopefully more informed decisions about their overall health. But for the faithful elite of the gym, this future innovation will simply improve the knowledge they have of their bodies in order to enhance their physical wellness. What would you like to see in the future technology to aid with your fitness journey? Please let us know in the comments below.