If 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was any indication, the field of wearable technology is the new “golden child” of the digital health revolution. The sector grew a whopping 40% over last year’s entries. But as Darrell Etherington writes in TechCrunch, the growth in wearable tech generally represents a marketer’s dream rather than a consumer’s delight. Most innovation has centered on expanding the type and quality of data collected as opposed to really enhancing the health of the wearer. Notable exceptions to this trend are products that stem from a personal need.
One such example is the Up T-Shirt which grew from designer Neda Naef’s need to combat her poor and painful posture – the result of hours hunched over a computer. Even though anatomy was the starting point for her low tech elastic band solution packaged in a quality cotton T, it took 4 years from concept to market. Could the timeframe have benefitted from a consultation with a physical therapist at the start of the process? And shouldn’t a professional be a part of the design team rather than just providers of feedback, especially when the goal is rehabilitation of a physical ailment or disability? The knowledge and experience that PTs bring to the table could surely elevate wearable technology away from mere data collectors and into the realm of healthcare solutions.
Do you think PTs have a role moving forward in wearable devices? Leave a comment on our Facebook page. Are you a physical therapist looking for employment opportunities that allow you to flex your creative talents? Contact a Centra team member at 800 535 0076 or download our mobile app.