The gloomy and cold season is in full swing right now, and, as usual, it is bringing more than one annoyance with flus hitting no less than ten million people across the country, according to the Cold and Flu Council.
But new methods to battle such frustrating illnesses are on their way, thanks to wearable technology.
A study published earlier this month by PLOS Biology investigated the ability of wearable devices, whose sensors (ranging from heart rate detectors to others analysing skin temperature, blood oxygen levels, physical activities and the likes) could help detecting a number of diseases.
Lyme, inflammation, flu — and, eventually, even more serious things such as Type-2 diabetes — could all be more easily identified by unobtrusive devices wrapped around our wrists.
Carl Thomas, a self-confessed ‘tech geek’, is the founder of both Wearables London and TechHub, two groups that aim to create a community of like-minded tech enthusiasts and support new, innovative tech start-ups.
What wearables devices do, says Thomas, is not rocket science. If one of these devices has “permanent contact with your skin then it can start to understand what’s happening beneath the skin,” he said. “permanent contact with your skin then it can start to understand what’s happening beneath the skin.”
He nonetheless realised that there are questions arising about the huge amount of data these devices collect, as well as their monetary value, were this information to be sold for commercial purposes.
“There’s definitely an ethical argument in this field of wearables, in terms of interpreting the data in a more visible way and communicating the benefits to the user,” he said.
“But there are systems that are trying to empower individuals by giving them access to the data, as well as giving them the ability to opt out of providing their data.”