Whither the Wearables?


Wearables have taken off — first in the fitness space with step trackers and pulse readers, but those are examples of the very beginning of a health-and-fitness wearables revolution that will extend far beyond quantified self geeks and early adopters. We believe that within the next few years, we’ll see wearables expand to track continuous health data – heart rate, blood sugar, blood pressure, stress levels, respiration, brainwaves, posture, and even muscle activity.

These trackers will also evolve from one-way passive reading to two-way reading and “writing,” where these wearables will be able to stimulate neural connections through electricity and ultrasound to write new code for the brain. Picture a device that includes data and expands to appliances and fixtures in the home, adding sensors, getting connected to the cloud, and opening up stores for apps with data-driven value-added services. That’s coming, too.

Further, these devices will interact with other wearable devices used by healthcare professionals and health services providers to provide intelligence around reminders and tips for how to stay healthy.

When this networked transformation happens, the power of the system will far exceed that of isolated wearables operating independently. Over time, this data can also be combined with confidential health record data to provide truly personalized medical updates and a comprehensive view of your health and habits (filling in all the gaps between medical checkups and doctor visits).

As a result, insights over the continuous long view will start to catch systemic changes and pattern shifts long before problems become acute. Companies innovating with this model include Basis and Fitbit health trackers, InteraXon and Halo Neuroscience brainwave sensing and boosting, and the OMsignal line of biometric smartwear.

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