5 examples of popular wearable devices in healthcare

  • Wearables are becoming a popular form of health monitoring. 
  • Below, we outline five of the most common wearable devices and provide popular examples of each.
  • Do you work in the Healthcare industry? Get business insights on the latest tech innovations, market trends, and your competitors with data-driven research.

The pandemic expedited wearable technology adoption and heightened the role it plays in healthcare. Wearables usage was already rising pre-pandemic as consumers gravitated to the idea of monitoring their own health, and it continued to skyrocket in 2020 as newer devices came into the market, with enhanced features focusing on health.

According to our estimates, more than one-fifth of the US population is expected to use a smart wearable device this year, as the behavior to monitor health amid the pandemic continues to grow. Below, we outline five of the most commonly used wearable devices. 

Wearable fitness trackers

These wristband devices are equipped with sensors to keep track of users’ physical activity and heart rate. Many fitness trackers provide health and wellness recommendations by syncing to various smartphone apps.

  • Fitbit Charge 4: Fitbit’s most advanced tracker, the Charge 4, comes equipped with a built-in GPS and a 24/7 heart rate monitor. 
  • Amazfit Bip: Amazon has tapped into the digital health space with its fitness tracker that features a long-lasting battery life (up to 40 days), built-in GPS, and 10 sport mode features.
  • Garmin vívosmart 4: This small and sleek fitness band monitors users’ heart rates and includes tools such as all-day stress tracking, a relaxation breathing timer, and VO2 max readings.  

Smart health watches

Once only used to count steps and tell time, smartwatches have transformed into clinically viable tools for healthcare. This year, we expect there will be 45.2 million smartwatch users in the US. By 2024, that figure will surpass 50 million.  

  • Fitbit Versa 3: This smartwatch equips users with more than 20 goal-based exercises, mental health tracking, movement reminders, and more.
    Fitbit’s Versa 3 equips users with healthcare monitoring tools and classic smartwatch features.Fitbit
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: The most advanced Samsung smartwatch comes with auto workout tracking, heart and sleep monitoring, stress monitoring, and advanced run coaching. 
  • Apple Watch Series 6: Accompanied by Apple’s iconic movement rings and dozens of workout modes, this smartwatch can monitor a user’s heart rate, blood oxygen level, take an ECG anywhere, at any time, and notify users if something is wrong. 

Wearable ECG monitors

Wearable ECG monitors are on the cutting edge of consumer electronics. They are able to measure electrocardiograms, or ECGs—helping users track their heart rhythm and rate, as well as measure other vitals, including blood pressure.

  • AliveCor’s KardiaMobile 6L: This portable EKG monitor is FDA-cleared to detect atrial fibrillation (AF), bradycardia, and tachycardia. Users just place their fingers on the top two electrodes and touch the bottom electrode to their left ankle or leg and receive results within 30 seconds.
    AliveCor’s KardiaMobile device provides patients results in just 30 seconds.Alivecor
  • Wellue’s DuoEK: The handheld monitor can also be worn as a chest strap and be used either with or without a smartphone. It continuously records EKG up to 15 minutes and can detect early signs of arrhythmia, heart pauses, AF, tachycardia, bradycardia, and premature atrial contractions (PACs).
  • VivaLNK: This small ECG monitor is designed for in-clinic and remote patient monitoring (RPM) applications. It records data on heart rate, RR interval, and respiratory rate.

Wearable blood pressure monitors

Omron Healthcare launched HeartGuide in 2019, the first wearable blood pressure monitor. It measures blood pressure and daily activity, including steps taken and calories burned. Over the past few years Omron has developed more wearable blood pressure monitors in an effort to remain a leader in the increasingly competitive space. 

  • Omron Platinum: Omron’s wireless upper arm blood pressure monitor can store up to 200 readings for two different users. It calculates a user’s daily average blood pressure and alerts them if their systolic blood pressure measures 130 mmHg or above.
    Omron’s wireless upper arm blood pressure monitor can store up to 200 readings.Amazon
  • Withings BPM Connect: BPM Connect is an armband that measures a user’s blood pressure and shows results immediately on the screen with color-coded feedback. Users can connect their device with the company’s companion Health Mate app, where they can then share blood pressure results with their doctor.
  • LifeSource Upper Arm monitor: LifeSource’s blood pressure monitor comes with one arm cuff to measure a user’s blood pressure. It indicates irregular heartbeats during measurement and the device’s Pressure Rating Indicator classifies blood pressure in accordance with medically approved standards.

Wearable biosensors

Wearable biosensors are still in their infancy stage in regard to large-scale development and adoption, yet they hold potential to revolutionize telemedicine and remote healthcare.

These devices are portable sensors that come in the form of gloves, clothing, bandages, and implants. They create two-way feedback between the user and their doctor and enable continuous and noninvasive disease diagnosis and health monitoring from physical motion and biofluids.

  • Philips Biosensor BX100: This device measures vital signs, posture, and activity. It’s a single-use wearable patch that should be incorporated into existing clinical workflows—supporting surveillance of higher acuity patients moving from intensive care units into lower acuity general care areas. In 2020 the Philips Biosensor BX100 earned 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help manage confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients in a hospital. 
  • Philips Wearable biosensor: This Philips original biosensor lets patients and physicians monitor health data. It’s a self-adhesive biosensor that measures heart rate, respiratory rate, skin temperature, body posture, fall detection, single-lead ECG, R-R interval (RR-I), and step count. 
  • BiovitalsHF and Biovitals Sentinel by Biofourmis: The Biovitals platform collects population metadata and compares it to real-time patient physiological signals via the Everion wearable armband. It’s designed to help healthcare providers predict and prevent serious medical events. However, to access the platform patients must seek advice from their clinician and get a prescription. Once the BiovitalsHF app is prescribed, the clinician will register and onboard them to the program.

More to Learn

Interested in learning more about the Digital Health space? Here are some related reports that might interest you:

  1. The Social Determinants of Health, which outlines how hospitals and insurers use digital health to tackle nonclinical health factors and boost outcomes.
  2. The Remote Patient Monitoring Report, which explores how top US health systems, payers, and researchers are using remote monitoring technology to improve patient outcomes and slash care costs.
  3. The Digital Therapeutics Report, which highlights the most innovative players racing to catch up to the Teladoc-Livongo megamerger as the pandemic vaults the market.

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