New wearable medical tech is being used to fight against epilepsy and other serious conditions
Wearable devices come in a wide range of shapes and sizes nowadays, although there are arguably very few that can be considered more than just toys to further fuel our hunger for technology. However, when it comes to wearable medical tech the situation is a bit different as a number of people who specialize in this field are working hard in order to make sure that this type of technology becomes truly useful. Although most wearable medical tech gadgets available today are basically just fitness trackers, recent advancements are already allowing some of these devices to help those who are suffering from epilepsy or a number of other conditions. This technology comes courtesy of Empatica, whose CEO Matteo Lai recently spoke at the ArabNet Digital Summit in Dubai.
“Epilepsy is one of the most common brain diseases. It affects 65 million people worldwide,” Lai said. “The device we’ve developed measures several indicators, and also measures stress. We sell it around the world, to hospitals and research companies, and it has enabled research that wasn’t possible before.” Lai also said about Empatica’s wearable medical tech that “medical devices today are very ugly, and they can be only worn in hospitals. We wanted something with the same design quality as the wearable devices you may have seen in the Apple store and other retail stores, but at the same time with medical quality.”
The device developed by Empatica is known as the Embrace Watch and it can do much more than just detect when the wearer is having an epileptic seizure. Upon detecting that its user is having a seizure, the Embrace Watch will automatically send a signal to friends or family members so that they can step in and help the person. This is only the beginning though, as Lei says that in the near future this type of technology will be able to help people suffering from many other illnesses and disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, sleep disorder and depression, among others.
However, the next big step for wearable medical tech will be to detect these types of conditions before they even happen. Needless to say, this would be incredibly useful given that knowing beforehand could help people prevent certain types of diseases. This may sound a bit unlikely right now, but Lai is confident that further research will advance the technology up to the point where people “don’t even have to show up to the hospital” in many cases.