August 20, 2021

August 14, 2021

Beyond Your Fitbit: What’s Next for Wearables?

Wearable technology has made it easier to track your steps, receive notifications, and even visit museums virtually. Now, wearables are changing the world of medicine. Read on to find out how iSTRYM is disrupting the mental health industry, making wearables part of the revolution.

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In the last 10 years, wearable technology has emerged as an exciting and accessible solution for not only monitoring your fitness activity but also your health. From watches that track your sleep pattern to clothing fitted with biosensors to track your heart rate, innovation in wearable technology continues to grow and expand. 

According to research from Insider Intelligence, the use of wearable technology has more than tripled over the last 4 years. On top of that, 80% of consumers polled are willing to wear fitness technology day-to-day. This growing interest, the article suggests, is piloted by an increasing want by consumers to monitor their own health and keep track of their vital signs (also known as the quantified self-movement). 

Wearable technology has revolutionized the pursuit of healthier lifestyles by providing round-the-clock personalized medical data. Today’s wearable technology can now even complement your mental health journey, optimizing therapy outcomes by connecting to apps like iSTRYM

What Exactly is Wearable Technology?

Wearable technology comes in many forms. In the mental health industry, specifically, wearables can include electronic devices worn by consumers that collect individual data, usually around personal health and exercise. This data can then be sent to the user’s mobile device to be collected and displayed for trend recognition. Wearable technology first boomed in popularity for the pure interest of tracking, but now — and especially in the realm of healthcare — these devices can send that individual health information to a doctor or clinician in real-time. 

“Demand for wearables is projected to jump in the next few years as more consumers exhibit interest in sharing their wearable data with their providers and insurers,” says Insider.

Different Types of Wearables

Since its inception, wearable technology has expanded to include a variety of different tools:

Fitness trackers - According to HFE, since the 1960s, fitness tracking devices and their technology have developed at a rapid pace. Initially used as pedometers, this changed in the 1980s with the introduction of wireless heart rate monitors. Today’s fitness trackers like Fitbit or Fitbug do much more, including tracking your REM cycles when you sleep or the pace at which you walk, run, or bike.

Smartwatches - In 2015, smartwatches like the 1st generation Apple Watch generated $9 billion in sales. Smartwatches do everything that fitness trackers can while also connecting you to your mobile device notifications. In 2017, Apple also launched the Apple Heart Study app to monitor users’ heart rhythms, alerting those who are experiencing atrial fibrillation.

Smart clothing - Equipped with biosensors that not only track movement and heart rate, but also respiratory rate and temperature. Neviano Swimsuits even have UV sensors that alert your phone when levels are high and it's time to put on sunscreen.

Prosthetics - Prosthetic technology is constantly being tested and updated to give users more ease in their day-to-day lives. Today’s technology enables prosthetic limbs to become more intuitive by responding to the nervous system or brain signals, according to this Forbes article. “In the future, intelligent prosthetics like this, which respond to the individual’s commands more intuitively, may become the norm.” 

Virtual reality headsets - Virtual reality headsets can keep you active with a variety of physical games. They even simulate your favorite training sessions. But they also enable you to immerse yourself in entirely new places like museums or beautiful countrysides. According to the article, Wearables in Medicine, the emergence of virtual reality headsets have also started to play a role in wearable health technology as they can provide imaginary environments, sounds, vibrations, and other sensations to observe and interact with. They can facilitate the management of mental and anxiety disorders including autism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), persecutory delusions, and phobias, by enabling patients to evaluate these mental challenges in virtual reality.

Wearables in Health

As mentioned, consumers love to track personal analytics. And wearables as medical technology are becoming a key proponent in this movement.

According to this bulletin from the World Health Organization (WHO), the last decade has shown a growing interest in big data and its role in transforming personal, clinical, and public health care. At an institutional level, the article says, “the analysis of electronic health records can expand the capacity to generate new knowledge through a larger observational evidence base.” Basically, the more information clinicians can collect from this data, the more knowledge they can derive to benefit the health care system. 

Big data has already proven helpful in building accurate models of disease progression and providing personalized medicine in clinical practice. And by encouraging patients to participate in their own care, delivering personalized data, and integrating medicine with behavioral determinants of health, wearable technology has demonstrated a huge interest and response from consumers.  

How iSTYRM is Optimizing Care

Wearables have allowed consumers to track and improve their health, but there has been little emphasis on what wearables can do for your mental health. Apps like iSTRYM are working hard to disrupt this space and bridge the gaps between internal states and therapy.

A leader in digital therapeutics, iSTRYM provides an app for patients and a platform for clinicians. By pairing a patient’s wearable devices to the iSTRYM app, this technology will change the space of healthcare by bringing clients closer to clinicians and allowing them to take control of their data and mental wellness

Ultimately, teaming wearables together with digital therapeutical software,  iSTRYM is prepared to deliver integrative, personalized behavioral therapy in the form of breathwork, meditation, music, and voice and text journaling.

What are Digital Therapeutics?

Digital therapeutics (also known as DTX) platforms are a fast-growing trend in the mobile health market that feature software products that can be used to treat medical conditions. Apps like iSTRYM act like individualized wellness tools that allow patients to take control of their health with features like:

  • Basic tips and guidance on how to deal with common problems such as insomnia, mood disorders, and dietary issues
  • Data collection and analysis functions to help people gauge their health
  • Predictive and interventive tools to identify future health issues and find the right treatment path before a situation worsens
  • Motivational or cognitive stimulation to cause behavioral change
  • Ability to connect or link with wearable devices and medical equipment to record data that can be used to understand patients’ health
  • Integrations with drug regimens to answer complex questions about situations and illnesses like cancers and asthma

As they evolve, wearable technologies have demonstrated the capability to help people pursue healthy lifestyles that benefit the body and mind. With exclusive partnerships with LUCID, SOMA Breath, and Speak Ai, iSTRYM dominates these capabilities by incorporating machine learning technology, data collection, and personalized wellness practices.

Machine learning is the ability for computers to identify patterns from data without explicit programming. This technology goes hand in hand with artificial intelligence (AI) in being able to utilize data to improve knowledge and provide optimal solutions. 

Speak Ai, for example, uses machine learning to optimize natural language comprehension for users. This allows iSTYRM clinicians to get a better understanding of their client’s moods and intonations through the app.  

With the iSTRYM app, not only are patients able to connect with their clinicians but are also able to track and record their own health data through wearable technology, improving results toward a more immersive and efficacious mental wellness journey.

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Written by

Hayley Kirsh