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How Wearables can contribute to the stabilization of the healthcare system

The prosperity of a region or a country can be determined not only by its financial opportunities, but also by the long life expectancy of its citizens. The development of medicine has improved the life expectancy and the standard of living has changed for the better. In Germany, the life expectancy of women is 83.05 and 78.13 for men – in 1950, for example, men grew on average 64 years old and women 68 grew years old. Of course this development is amazing and commendable; however, contrary to the birth rate – in Germany it is 1.4 children per woman – the following problem emerged: Demographic change, and along with it the difference between young and old, causes an imbalance in health care. Even now hospitals and care services are complaining about many vacant positions. A representative study by the Bertelsmann Foundation shows that 61 % of German care establishments have trouble filling vacancies – thus remain an average of 4.3 vacancies.

This problem has long been known: what alternatives can be used to compensate for this lack of personnel? Can technology help to keep the health system stable? Yes, it can!

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a result of the latest technological advances and is now expanding into all areas of life. A few years ago, for example, you could not imagine that it is possible to surf the Internet using mobile phones. A development stage further, surfing indeed was possible, but at the time still associated with high costs. Who does not remember the situation when you accidentally pressed the Internet-browser and then franticly tried to cancel the operation again?

And today?  Today, it seems inconceivable that we ever lived without Internet. How was it possible to reach your destination without Google Maps? Why should I go for a run when I cannot even record my success using a tracking app and motivate myself for next time? You don’t have WhatsApp? In almost every situation you can fall back on an App, whether one wants to quit smoking, or simply needs a reminder to take his medication on time.

According to a study by AGOF digital facts, 76.1 % of the total population in Germany has used the Internet this year. Children under 14 years old are not included. Consequently, 89.2 % of 14-29 year olds are Internet users.

The numbers speak for themselves. The phenomenon of the internet seems to have arrived in society – this phenomenon has been regarded with suspicion. The IoT is struggling with similar prejudices. Likely, it is only human to critically confront such key innovations. What are the benefits of IoT in the healthcare sector for you, what are the efficiency enhancements and cost reductions associated with it, I want to tell you by means of wearables from Biovotion.

The company Biovotion from Switzerland, founded in 2011, has put a device to the market, which actively contributes to improving health care and promoting the quality of medicine.

The product is based on clinical expertise, helping users to improve their health. It records the user’s pulse, oxygen saturation, and body temperature and it also includes an activity tracker. The device allows its user greater independence, since he does not need to go to the doctor for a blood pressure measurement. In this way, the wearable can contribute to relieve the own family, or even in general protect against the emergence of new disease symptoms. According to the manufacturer the quality of sleep of the users improves and the stress decreases. The product is very light and is worn discreetly on the arm.

With their device, in the past year Biovotion has won an award at the “Wearable Technology Show” – one of the most important events in the Wearable and IT industry. Also in 2015, they won the “European CEO Award” for being the most innovative company. This year Biovotion won a “RedHerring” award.

This example points out that with the help of wearables, one can use the benefits of technological advancements. Could the wearable for example prevent obesity and resulting diseases? At best, wearables can prevent diseases, or at least provide the incentive to organize our lives healthier and get more exercise. Thus, one’s health is improved while simultaneously relieving the health care system.

The adoption of the eHealth Act on December 4, 2015 paved the way for the exchange of digital information in health: emergency data and a uniform medication schedule will be stored on the health card. For the first time, the law also allows the transmission of all vital signs and other data recorded by fitness trackers or wearables to doctors. By 2018, doctors’ surgeries and hospitals should be comprehensively linked to this infrastructure. For example, in case of a stroke the timeframe until the medical care arrives plays a major role; the shorter the period between the stroke and primary treatment, the greater the chance of full recovery. With the use of wearables and the provision of data, necessary information can be accessed immediately, without losing precious time, because before the first treatment, for example, even health issues and incompatibilities need to be clarified.

The Internet of Things offers a lot of ways in the healthcare sector to make our lives easier. Biovotion is just one of them. So why don’t we make use of them?

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©Robert Scoble/flickr.com

This blog has been written by our Worldcom partner agency HBI.

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