Stamford Study: Wearables Can Predict Health Problems

A new Stamford study published by PLOS Biology demonstrates the potential of wearables to predict people's health and related risks before they're aware of being sick. A dozen researchers spent several months making more than 250,000 measurements for up to 43 people on a daily basis using various wearables like some BASIS-made smartwatches. Their ultimate goal was to collect as much data as possible and use it to identify normal physical and psychological parameters that could serve as a basis for detecting abnormal showings which are usually associated with developing diseases and health issues in general.

Researchers found that contemporary wearables are useful tools for detecting early signs of inflammation and Lyme disease, adding how these gadgets are able to detect psychological differences between individuals that are resistant and sensitive to insulin. This is significant because it suggests that some relatively simple metrics like sleeping patterns could theoretically be used to identify insulin-resistant people and consequently predict type 2 diabetes. All of that is made possible once baseline biometrics are established, though that may be easier said than done in the context of developing a solution for serving a large population.

While some equipment used in this research isn't commercially available, most of it is already implemented in contemporary wearables in some shape or form. Researchers concluded that portable biosensors are extremely capable of monitoring people's health, adding how their findings have important implications for future plans on providing affordable health care. Using portable biosensors is cheaper than having regular physical checkups if a doctor isn't available in one's vicinity, which is why this research suggests future health care may implement wearables to provide a quicker and cheaper method of monitoring people's health. As technology gets more advanced and cheaper to manufacture, modern medical care is likely to eventually consider using wearables as a method of serving large populations, the research indicates. The currently biggest challenge in that endeavor is identifying a way in which doctors could establish baseline biometrics for a large number of people. The Stamford research detailed above relied on subjects wearing numerous sensor-infused wearables on a daily basis and that isn't something that everyone would consider to be more convenient than attending an annual physical checkup.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]