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5 Things to Know About Wearable Technology

Unlike other household devices, smart wearable technology allows us to collect precise physiological data that can teach us a lot about an individual’s health, fitness, and other personal metrics. Advancements in this technology address the growing demand for smaller, more personal, and more connected devices. New wearable technology brings a multitude of opportunities for connectivity and tracking but concerns over privacy and security along with them. It’s important to consider what role this new category of devices should play in our lives moving forward.

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  1. Wearable Technology can take many forms. Anything a consumer wears that has its own processing power to connect to the internet can be considered a smart wearable technology, including headphones, watches, glasses, rings, pants, and footwear.

  2. The wearable industry is experiencing rapid growth. One report found the smart wearables market was valued at $14 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to 2.5 times that amount by 2026.

  3. Smart accessories have made health and fitness tracking more accessible for consumers. Features like sleep and exercise tracking are ubiquitous on wearables, leveraging integrated heart rate and blood oxygen monitors to provide users data. More specific devices like UV exposure monitoring and blood pressure sensors are also available.

  4. The health data from wearables is being used in medical research and care. Academic research on heart health and sleep apnea using wearables showed potential for passive detection of health issues. In combination with the technology improving needs of people living with disabilities, such as hearing, wearables have the potential to change the health industry.

  5. Privacy concerns must be addressed. The highly personal data produced from wearables raises questions about where the information is stored and accessed as well as concerns about biometric tracking and other implications form the data.

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