Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Smart" wristbands- the future of health technology

The article I read titled “Wearable Sweat Sensors Could Track Your Health” talks about how in the past doctors used blood tests to analyze people’s health, but with this new wearable technology we will be able to obtain valuable information about a person’s health. The sensors use human sweat to look for signs of disease. This will change the way we look at health care and the way health professionals administer tests.
            This new technology is opening up a new branch of health. We have products on the market like the Fitbit and the Apple watch that track our steps and distance of activity that we do throughout the day but the new wearable “smart” wristbands and headbands with sweat sensors do so much more. We will now not only know about our physical activity but our health in general. With this technology doctors can now monitor their patients health continuously. No need to get a check up once a week or month, the doctor can alert you if they need to see you based on your results from your sweat! This could help cut how much you spend on doctor visits because you will know when you need to go in. Not only can this help patients, but athletes as well. This piece of technology can help athletes track their performance. They will also know when to hydrate more and if or when they are going through heat shock. This new technology is offering many more attributes than the standard health and fitness trackers already on the market.
           While they’re many benefits to this new technology, there is a downside in efficiency. How sure can we be that our sweat will detect when we are not well? I feel like people will be hesitant to trust this device especially people who need to be monitored by doctors. The old fashion way of going into the doctor’s office has worked in the past so why change? Another downside is the question of if people will actually wear it. Right now they are making these in wristbands and headbands, and the headbands seem to be more efficient because of the amount of sweat we accumulate on our heads. But will people actually wear a sweatband on their head throughout the day?
 Although they’re some negatives about this new technology this does seem to be the future of health. I believe people will ultimately want this device not only to make sure they are healthy all the time, but also to make sure they are staying hydrated and healthy while doing physical activity. I believe this "smart" wristband/headband can really help people’s wellbeing.



  1. I think that this product sounds very interesting. As an owner of a Fitbit, I can see the appeal to tracking your health. Personally, I like knowing how how many steps I’ve taken, how many miles and stairs that I have climbed, along with my heart rate and the amount of calories I have burned. It provides me with daily goals that I try to meet, and also helps me be more aware of how much water I am drinking and the calories that I eat in a day. However, I do not find the appeal of tracking my health through my sweat. I think that being able to use human sweat to look for diseases is a clever idea, but it may be more harmful to users than it appears. When people are more aware of signs of diseases, it creates unnecessary worry if there is not an immediate explanation to a mark or bump on their skin. Doctors usually need to examine through blood test and other observations to give a clear diagnosis. Although sweat may provide a diagnosis, how reliable is the product and how clear is the connection between the patient and the client? These are the two largest problems that the article fails to mention. I think once this item is tested and has a few improvements, that it may be even more successful than the Fitbit and other heath monitors that we have available. I do believe that this type of technology will be more common in the future, and once more studies have been done, this may even be a reliable way to discover diseases.

  2. These smart wrist and headbands seem like a great new use of technology in the fitness industry. They would be beneficial to everyone, but as pointed out in the original blog post, the real struggle would be getting people to wear them. Marketing would have to do a really good job positioning this product. Currently, fitbits are associated more commonly with old people and those too lazy to work out relying on step counting instead of real exercise. You would never see Steph Curry, Cam Newton, or Cristiano Ronaldo using one while training. These smart bands on the other hand, sound like more cutting edge sports technology top level athletes should be using. If they could sign sponsorship deals with professional athletes and demonstrate how the bands enhance their training and health, people from aspiring athletes down to fit-bit wearers would start using them. This is such an exciting article for me because I am sick of hearing how special the fitbit is, when really it is nothing more than a glorified step counter. My grandma uses one, so they cannot be that essential of a fitness technology. Smart bands analyzing my sweat sound like they go way beyond this and are something I could easily see myself using to enhance training and overall health.

  3. This article sounded like it had potential to be a neat product, but it also left me with a lot of questions about how it worked. I didn’t realize that your sweat could tell you a lot about your health. What type of heath information and diseases can a doctor learn from your sweat? . There are many health issues that can’t be detected via sweat, which could be dangerous if people rely too much on the band to tell them if they are healthy. Also, how much sweat would this device need to detect a health issue? I only sweat when I work out, so I am not sure how this bracelet would work on a day-to-day basis.
    I think that rather than marketing this product as a heath tracker, it should be marketed as a fitness tracker. By combining sweat, heart rate and steps, one could get a strong analysis of their workout. As a tennis player, I have played many 3+ hour matches in the summer heat and would be really curious what my sweat would tell me about my hydration and other health stats. I also think athletes are more likely to wear a sweatband, therefore they should focus on tracking sport/exercise data.
    This product is a new idea right now, but in the future it has potential to make many neat fitness and health trackers. FitBit has many different types of FitBits, each tracking something slightly different. If these wristbands came in different levels, some for more regular day-to-day activities while others had more sport focus features, I think that they could be very popular.


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