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Smartwatches – Watching Over Your Health

The tediousness of transporting yourself to see the doctor may be a thing of the past especially for those who are suffering from weak hearts and blood pressure issues. There are intelligent or rather smartwatches that monitor your health and fitness as you go about your daily chores or out jogging. The functional use of watches from just that of telling the time has expanded into the domain of health. Actually, it was just a matter of time before those little gadgets tied around your wrist expanded on their functionalities to keep themselves relevant in the business. After all, the younger generation, weaned on smartphones are not familiar with watches as a device for telling the time and tend to view it as an unnecessary gadget.

Apple Watch and other smartwatches available in the market facilitates functions related to fitness tracking in monitoring steps taken, distance travelled and calories burnt. The features that are included in smartwatches to measure fitness and health data include a heart rate monitor, gyroscope, accelerometer and barometer. There are smartwatches with specific applications like hiking which display elevation and direction of travel, similar to a compass.

The normal routine of taking blood pressure involves an inflatable cuff that squeezes the arm until circulation is cut off and then is gradually deflated from which measurements are taken at the point which circulation resumes before returning to normal.

There are patented new technologies that do the same function with a watch-like gadget that comes with a sensor-equipped band. The basic functionality is based on the detection of the pulse at the wrist and the duration of the time taken for a pulse from the heart to reach the wrist. The pulse transmit time (PTT) is used to calculate blood pressure.

The patent for the watch was created based on the concern for high blood pressure as a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The earlier the high blood pressure is detected, better and more effective measures can be taken to control cardiovascular diseases. A routine monitoring of one’s blood pressure with the smartwatch can increase the probabilities of early detection.

The latest add-on to the smartwatch is a feature that will be considered a boon by those having diabetes, that is the tracking of glucose levels. An add-on application, the glucose tracker provides readings from one to six-hour trends so one will be constantly aware of one’s health condition and take immediate remedial measures. There are plans for follow-apps which allow the user to share their results in real-time with family members. In the event the user is preoccupied, close family members will be able to monitor the user’s glucose levels. This is useful for senior people with memory problems and who forget the intentions of the apps.

When the smartwatch was being created during the early 2010s, businesses decided not to include too many health-related sensors in the watch although technically it was possible. The smartwatch companies decided not to install additional health detection features such as measuring the level of oxygen saturation even though the necessary hardware technology was available. One of the reasons for the decision to limit to the health features to the measuring of blood pressure was the bureaucratic challenges in getting government approval. Businesses have taken the path of introducing health features slowly after obtaining government approval.

The inclusion of one’s personal health information in real-time on the watch one is wearing is a great benefit in terms of fitness and the maintenance of serious diseases. The fitness information found on the smartwatch ensures the correct amount of quality exercise has been performed within a stated duration. Similarly, the information provided on the body’s physiological condition in real-time creates immediate awareness of the health condition of a person. It is beneficial as remedial measures can be taken to overcome any weaknesses in health.

Gentle reminder: The information on this article is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare professional and should not be considered as professional advice. Please seek appropriate medical help when necessary.


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