Updated on January 17th, 2022
Today the difference between wearables and medical devices is blurred by highly advanced fitness bands and smartwatches.
Brands like Fitbit, Apple, Mi, and several others are competing to establish their products as medical devices. Individuals tend to opt for fitness bands and smartwatches to track their heart rate, stress levels, and even respiratory strength. But aren't these vitals measured by medical devices?
Blurring Lines Between Wearables and Medical Devices
Medical experts and analysts point out health tracking today has transformed completely with the technological advancements in smartwatches and fitness bands. Earlier, these wearables only included pedometer and basic activity logging that many experts call the infancy phase of health tracking.
However, the current state of this consumer health tracking industry is quite similar to the teenage phase. Wearable companies are trying to use the data from their smartwatches and fitness bands in the best possible way.
Although these wearables companies like Fitbit or Apple aren't for medical diagnosis yet people are treating it so. If you take a look at Fitbit Sense Advanced Smartwatch, you'll find features like heart rate monitoring, stress management tools, sleep, and skin temperature measurement too. Typically, a medical device like an ECG machine takes care of heart rate monitoring. But today wearable technology is creating a make-believe sense among people about how it helps in health monitoring.
You can also check out Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with heart rate monitoring and daily readiness score for tracking workouts.
Similarly, you'll find the Apple Watch Series 7 that offers almost the same set of features. From fitness tracking to sleep monitoring, this smartwatch can measure critical health vitals through its sensors and app. The smartwatch and fitness bands makers have made it clear that these are just more advanced activity trackers and not medical devices. To put it simply, these smartwatches and fitness bands can measure also track blood oxygen saturation and body fat levels. Medical devices usually measure these metrics. But with its inclusion in the smartwatch and fitness bands, individuals prefer using these instead of referring to a healthcare professional at first.
Further, experts believe that the line is blurring between wearables and medical devices. Smartwatches, and fitness bands companies are aiming to make people's lives healthier. Take, for instance, Apple is trying to enhance its future models of smartwatches by including blood sugar and blood pressure metrics tracking. Quite similar to Apple, Fitbit is also researching how its fitness bands can track pulse arrival time. That means, Fitbit is studying how long will it take for the blood to reach the wrist after a heartbeat. And how this is linked to blood pressure monitoring.
Take a look at Samsung Electronics Galaxy Watch 4 as well for more advanced sleep tracking.
Well, we feel that wearables have become indispensable tools that can contribute a lot to medical research. So, this ongoing debate on whether smartwatches and fitness bands are wearables or medical devices will resolve. Consumer health industry experts and healthcare professionals predict that these smartwatches and fitness bands can motivate people to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The catch here is that wearables companies must take to clarify how these devices should be used.
Without proper clarification about how these wearables can help in medical cases, the confusion and debate will persist. Besides, one thing is clear that wearables will do more good than harm, even if medical devices seem more accurate. Experts emphasize that wearable companies can turn their smartwatches and fitness bands just like medical devices, given that their purpose and usage are clear.
Moreover, experts also highlight that wearables companies must warn their users about making health decisions based on these smartwatches and fitness bands. We, too, believe that wearables are no less than medical devices in monitoring but users must consult doctors when it comes to medications.
So, the best users can do is note wearables data and consult physicians before making decisions. Besides, smartwatches and fitness bands are still wearables but the future seems to blur the line of difference between wearables and medical devices.click here!