Healthcare and technology have come together to create a new category of consumer electronics as the need for rapid diagnosis and treatment have become more of a priority to consumers. Being a part of a fast-paced society, consumers now have an expectation for quick, easily accessible medical solutions, and the business of wellness technology is experiencing rapid growth as a result. For example, the University of California in San Diego has successfully achieved the 3D printed production of functioning blood vessels, which are responsible for the proper activity of all tissues and organs in the human body. This innovation, along with the success of trials with bio-printed bone patches, will lead the way in revolutionizing the future of modern medicine, reducing recovery and healing times.
While physical health is a primary focus when it comes to diagnosis technology and smartphone apps the business of mental health is also being refined and made more personal by new technology—due in part to the continued social abolishment of the “taboo” stigma attached the subject in the public spotlight. Targeting brain health in professional athletes, RC21X’s Roberto app can quickly analyze auditory and visual health levels of the user through a series of video games, providing needed insight into a player’s wellbeing after repeated physical injury. Healthy aging is being examined by Boston University neuropsychologists through the use of wearable devices meant to detect early onset of dementia.
The rise of poor sleep habits and insomnia have triggered a boom in monitoring apps designed to help regulate and improve the overall quality of rest we can achieve, but with this movement comes the possible risk of obsessing over the same programs meant to provide help. Are we staying awake and creating unnecessary anxiety by exposing ourselves to extra screen time? The flipside of software taking the guesswork out of diagnosis is the advancement of machines used for early detection in hospital patients. Miniaturization and addition of smart tech in tools physicians use are moving medicine in an exciting new direction. These devices, such as the smart biopsy needle being tested by the Australia’s University of Adelaide could help to provide a new level of precision when examining possible brain tumors.
The growing market for wellness technology is driving consumers to make important observations about personal lifestyle habits. From diet to sleep and exercise, we as users place great expectations on tracking apps, wearables, and machines all meant to improve upon our current state of being. While many of these inventions can be accredited with advancing modern medicine, there is still the underlying point of truth that we have a personal responsibility to our bodies overall health.