In the medical and health sectors, there’s been a similar desire to innovate, and some of the most exciting changes have been consumer-facing. Although you might think that the biggest innovations in the medical field come to hospitals and research facilities, bringing creative hardware and software to consumers allows for improvements to the health and well-being of millions of people around the world.
On the large-scale side, companies like Apple and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) are building hardware, software, and infrastructure to help consumers stay healthy and get care when necessary. In fact, both companies have encouraged users to opt-in for health data sharing to better help researchers understand trends and build tools for the future. And with products like the Apple Watch, health data, including calories, heart rate, and water intake, can be measured and logged for reference.
But other players are looking to make waves to keep you healthier and, in some occasions, connected with your doctor. For example, the Mayo Clinic app helps you find a doctor if you’re in need of a visit; additionally, Heal can bring a doctor directly to
your house if you live in certain parts of California.
The desire to move health technology forward can come to fruition in hardware, too, especially in wearable or connected devices for monitoring. Take Sleep tracking, a growing trend due to research into the benefits of good sleep – there are dozens of devices for your pillow or bedside table that can identify your sleep patterns and help you gain a better night’s rest. Or take a look at the PillDrill, a $199 device that aids in the pill-taking process, sending reminders and keeping track of the total daily intake of pills.
The most promising consumer health tech, though, seems to be coming in the next few years, when our devices are able to understand much more about us than ever before. Through the usage of artificial intelligence, your phone may be able to understand and predict when you might be getting sick, recommending you to a doctor before a virus hits. It’s even possible, according to a Verge report, that Apple could be developing technology that allows for non-invasive glucose monitoring, a huge change for those who live with diabetes.
As the aforementioned technology improves, consumers have more opportunity than ever to understand their health and take action, revolutionizing medical care and the industry altogether. And as the biggest companies adopt new strategies to create
healthier customers, we‘ll begin to see an impact at a blistering pace.