From the introduction of wireless trackers for heartbeat monitoring in the 1980s to apps and websites that came up in 2005, to the introduction of FitBit, the biggest gamechanger in the wearable tech industry in 2007, it has been a long journey. Now, smart fabrics have also been introduced and smart clothing is driving the revolution ahead. The development and miniaturization of sensors has also made wearable devices possible. Smart Phones have been instrumental in the evolution of smaller and lightweight wearable gadgets that can track information easily via Bluetooth or BLE. Cloud based AI tools managing large amounts of data through predictive analytics have made it possible for this data to provide people with recommendations for a healthier life!
Real-time track base for fitness
Keeping track of fitness in real time is better than post training analysis, especially for sportspeople. It is also readily accessible as compared to the idea of sportspeople sitting in labs after their performance. Devices used to collect biometrical data can provide a rich source of information to all stakeholders. This may determine the success of sportspeople’s training. For athletes, preventing the onset of injury is always a constant battle as motivation drives them to push harder in the pursuit of better performance. However, the adoption of wearable devices may help change that as now coaches can monitor the sportsperson’s performance instantaneously. Creation of personalized exercise plans for athletes basis this data monitoring can also help them improve.
Use of wearable tech by sportspeople influences masses
Oddly wired and clunky devices earlier worn only by competitive athletes, have transformed into stylish, everyday accessories worn by casual joggers and stroller-pushing parents who just want to keep track of their daily fitness, be it something as simple as the number of steps they walk in a day. There is a reason wearable device have become a favorite gift for employers to give employees. Healthier employees mean lower healthcare costs. Companies that provide medical insurance benefits have started looking at employee health metrics to negotiate for lower insurance premiums! And there are now apps and devices for just about any activity, including tennis, golf, skiing, and swimming.
Wearable tech and data protection: drawing a line
Transparency presents a practical challenge in the context of wearables: user interfaces are generally small, and nowadays it may not be reasonable to expect users to read full privacy notices provided in physical or online user manuals. To ensure compliance, wearable providers should consider the use of standardized icons for better communication. Most concern around the use of wearables stems from uncertainties around the third parties with whom personal data may be shared. Wearable technology often involves a complex network of data controllers all sharing personal data with each other and getting user consent before disseminating this data is required. Providers need to take care of data accessibility and set privacy policies according to regulation standards, because what’s most important is maintaining credibility and trust within your consumer base. Everything else is secondary.
Wearable technology in sports is a HUGE benefit to professional athletes, a good source of motivation for the masses to improve their health and a potential goldmine for Insurance companies and Employee benefits. Global revenues for sports, fitness and activity monitors are expected to grow from $1.9bn in 2013 to $2.8 bn in 2019, according to technology industry analysis firm IHS Technology. Just like all Formula-1technology related to speed, safety and efficiency slowly makes its way into cars that are driven on the roads, data from wearable technology will soon make its way into predictive analysis for the healthcare industry on a global level as well!