"In the future there’s no doubt that wearable technologies are going to be part of our everyday lives," says Duncan Fitzsimons of design studio Vitamins, which has worked with healthcare company Qardio to develop a new range of wearable health-monitoring devices.
Increased usage of such devices will, he claims, make the "the doctor-patient relationship change [for the] better".
Fitzsimons explains how the current constraints on an appointment between patient and doctor - lack of time and lack of information - can be mitigated by personal monitoring devices that collect patient data over a long period of time.
"When we are ill at the moment we only see the doctor for a very small amount of time. This is just a snapshot in the progress of your illness," he says.
"If [a doctor] has access to a wider amount of data, they'll be able to see how your illness has started, progressed and perhaps is tailing off," he continues. "That will enable them to have a lot more information to diagnose you better and also enable you to have a more transparent window into your health so that you can understand it better as well."
For these benefits to be realised, Fitzsimons says the technology to record this data needs to be attractive and easy to use, citing two Qardio products as examples: the QardioArm, which measures blood pressure and the QardioCore, a wearable ECG (electrocardiogram) monitoring device, commonly used to detect abnormal heart rhythms.
Both are designed, says Fitzsimons, to look unlike medical devices and use a smartphone as the interface with the patient.
[The above paragraph was amended on 27 February 2014. Previously, it was stated that Vitamins would be launching the QardioArm and QardioCore products.]
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