The smart devices tracking you to keep you safe
The Future. Researchers are developing ways to use sensors (in our phones, in wearables, and throughout our homes) to monitor our wellbeing constantly. The hope is that these real-time measurements will catch a health issue or dangerous situation before it’s too late… and maybe even lower healthcare costs by prioritizing disease prevention as opposed to after-the-fact treatment.
WSJ looked at several ways that sensors could be used to track our health in real-time.
- Smart bandages, like VeCare from researchers at the National University of Singapore, could monitor how a wound is healing in real-time. That data can be automatically sent to doctors, who can change treatments on the fly if need be.
- A person’s walking data can indicate a variety of diseases, including diabetes or Parkinson’s. Sensors in homes that measure floor vibrations (which have been developed by researchers from Stanford and the University of Michigan) could become commonplace.
- Researchers from Stanford have used a smartphone accelerometers to determine if someone is drunk by measuring their gait. This could be used to keep people from driving by connecting smart keys in a phone to a vehicle’s ignition. Or it could be used by employers to keep inebriated workers from operating heavy machinery.
In the future, a sensor may save your life.