Wearables have a long way to go before being useful medical tools

Researchers from Evanston, Ill.-based Northwestern University found that wearables developers have a long way to go before their products can be used to help people manage their health, Politico reported Oct. 17. 

Four problems with wearables, according to the study published Oct. 12 in Science Translational Medicine:

  • Wearables aren't always reliable.

  • Patches designed to track vital signs aren't always comfortable for patients to wear.

  • Three out of 10 people stop using wearables over time. 

  • The researchers said to fix these issues presented in wearables, there needs to be fundamental advances in materials science and systems engineering, as well as privacy safeguards and regulations to ensure the technology is being used as intended. 

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