Last year around this time, smart, wearable technologies were seemingly everywhere. Consumers were lining up to be the first to purchase the Apple Watch, and the Fitbit had already garnered considerable market share among those aiming to track their health and fitness. While smart wearables consolidated a lot of devices into a watch or bracelet, a new form of smart data measurement, implantables, is also beginning to gain traction. Implantables are smart devices implanted into the skin. The first generation of implantables are being used by individuals in the medical, health and wellness industries as a way to easily monitor, measure and assist the functions of the body.
While wearable devices helped to streamline information in order to make it easily accessible, experts believe that implantables could be far more valuable. For the medical profession in particular, implantable technology is an upgrade over wearable technology. The elimination of gadgets on the outside is a win-win for patients, and the data collected by the chip is able to deliver far more accurate measurements because it is directly integrated into the data source–the body.
IBM, one of the world’s technology giants, has set out to create a brain implant that will be designed to analyze brain waves to prevent seizures. This is a tremendous development as seizures can happen at any time. These unfortunate attacks are often not only detrimental to the patient but others as well if they occur at the wrong time. Seizures impair the patient’s ability to function and have been the source of cars off-roading or even causing accidents with other drivers. The implant uses the IBM chip TrueNorth. The chip was designed to fully replicate the human brain, and would enable patients and doctors to be alerted on their smartphone if brain activity was abnormal. In the case of a seizure, the chip would stand in as the brain so the patient could have normal activity even prior to being treated.
As a result of IBM’s efforts and developments in technology, it is widely believed that implantables can be a difference maker. The medical, health and wellness industry and their patients stand to greatly benefit from implantables in the near future. However, there are security and privacy concerns of patient data being compromised. Developers of implantables will have to take steps to make sure the data is encrypted to protect health records laws.
Implantables will most certainly revolutionize the healthcare experience. Far more accurate than wearables, implantables will help both doctors and patients detect irregularities far earlier than any previous device. While skeptics may feel that implantables are intrusive, the main objective of companies developing the new gadgets is to improve health and wellness for the betterment of people and the community.