Wearable technology in medical devices sector

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With Google Glass creating interest in the media, attention is shifting to the possibility of a new generation of technology that is not just portable but wearable. However, it is not just in the area of interactive information services that developments in wearable technology are taking place. Advances are also being made in the area of wearable medical devices. In fact, the market for wearable devices is reported to have already reached a value of $2bn (£1.3bn) in 2011, with predictions that this will triple by 2016. The latter figure would represent some 100 million health-related devices sold, even before sports and fitness-related devices are included.

As with other kinds of device, the developments that have enabled growth in this area are improved and standardised wireless technology and the ability to build small, sophisticated electronic systems. But what is meant by wearable medical devices? The answer is that the term covers a wide variety of products, but they are generally devices worn on the body for a prolonged period that are able to capture and process data about the patient’s physiology and then calculate the correct medical response before notifying the patient…

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