Wearable Medical Devices
Adoption, Applications, and Tech Elements
A provider of IoT consulting and development services since 2011, ScienceSoft helps you design and implement software powering wearable medical devices.
In healthcare, the Wearable IoT (WIoT) is a network of patient-worn smart devices (e.g., electronic skin patches, ECG monitors, etc.), with sensors, actuators and software connected to the cloud that enable collection, analysis and transmitting of personal health data in real time.
Wearable technology is widely used in healthcare to enable patient condition monitoring, therapy delivery, and more. In 2021, the wearable medical devices market was estimated at $16.2 billion, and it is expected to reach $30.1 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 13.2%. The drivers that impact the market expansion are the rise of lifestyle-associated diseases (e.g., hypertension), the growing demand for home healthcare, and the need to improve patient outcomes.
Consumer interest in wearables shows a steady increase. According to the Rock Health Digital Health Consumer Adoption report, 54% of US adults used digital wearables to track at least one health parameter (e.g., heart rate, body temperature) in 2020, compared to 42% in 2019. A 2021 study conducted by HIMSS reveals that more than half of providers consider wearable technology helpful for patient monitoring.
Key adoption drivers determined by ScienceSoft:
- The COVID-19 pandemic and increased demand for remote monitoring and care delivery.
- The rising number of geriatric populations.
- Increasing prevalence of chronic diseases that require consistent monitoring for better outcomes.
- Focus on personalized patient care.
- Technological advancements in wearable medical devices.
ScienceSoft's experts recommend the following cloud-based software architecture to power wearable devices.
The solution includes a cloud server, which receives data from wearable devices via gateways and a firewall. The cloud server includes data storage, processing, and analytics modules and hosts the solution’s business logic and control applications. The solution also has user interfaces for patients, medical staff, medical device technicians, and admins, which help access the collected and analyzed data from wearables, send commands to the wearable devices (e.g., initiate pain management), and more.
In similar projects, ScienceSoft's healthcare IT team integrates the IoT solution with EHR to enable a comprehensive view of patients’ medical history (chronic conditions, allergies, etc.)
Real-Life Examples of Software for Wearables Delivered by ScienceSoft
Development of a Mobile Baby Care App for a Smart Baby Care System
Customer: A European distributor of globally acknowledged brands and owner of several healthcare product lines.
Solution: ScienceSoft has created from scratch an IoT-based mobile baby care app for parents that enables automated collection of baby data from branded wearables (e.g., GPS smart watch) and smart devices (e.g., baby’s weight from scales, baby’s body temperature from a thermometer).
Mobile Heart Rate Tracking App Development
Customer: A US company providing healthcare, sport, military organizations with research on the population’s health and effective training techniques.
Solution: ScienceSoft delivered an iOS app that supports the required wearable heart monitoring devices (e.g., Wahoo Fitness). The app can perform evaluation of the initial fitness level, training progress monitoring, identification of the changes in fitness, etc.
Development of Remote Patient Monitoring Software
Customer: A US-based provider of healthcare solutions with development centers in Middle East.
Solution: ScienceSoft created a solution for remote patient monitoring, which aggregated and processed data from multiple sensors (measuring blood pressure, tracking movements, etc.) connected via Bluetooth. The solution also included a communication app, a home app for patients, and more.
Health condition monitoring
Healthcare organizations’ staff can monitor patient health state in real time with medical wearables and use the gathered information to timely adjust the disease management plan. Patients benefit from using the wearable solution by tracking their health parameters and requesting consultations if the solution indicates alarming patterns in these parameters.
Examples of wearables for health condition monitoring: wearable spirometer, hemodynamic/pressure monitoring devices, ECG patches, etc.
How software for medical wearables works: Wearable patient monitoring devices (e.g., glucose monitors) collect data related to a patient’s condition (e.g., a blood glucose level) and transfer it to the medical software cloud server. The anonymized patient data is processed and analyzed to identify patterns in it. The identified patterns accompanied by the source data are available to doctors and patients in respective user applications and help track patient health conditions, improve treatment, and promote disease self-management.
Use cases ScienceSoft suggests:
- Respiratory monitoring for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, etc.
- Monitoring of blood glucose for patients with diabetes type 1 and type 2.
- Monitoring of cardiac diseases.
- Fetal and neonatal monitoring.
- Monitoring of COVID-19 patients (e.g., using body temperature and blood oxygenation level monitoring devices combined with telehealth software).
- Patient monitoring during cancer treatment (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate).
- Home care for geriatric patients.
- Measurement and recording of dyskinetic symptoms and tremors by patients with neurological disorders.
Patient therapy delivery
Medical wearables help treat chronic disease symptoms (e.g., pain, hyperglycemia) and maintain patients’ health, while automatically accumulating data on wearable-enabled therapy delivery for a doctor’s review.
Examples of wearables for patient therapy delivery: implanted pacemakers, defibrillators, closed-loop pancreas systems, insulin pumps, etc.
How software for medical wearables works: Wearable patient therapy devices can be either implanted (e.g., implantable cardioverter-defibrillators) or attached to the skin (e.g., insulin pumps). Therapy delivery can be triggered by a patient via the user application or automatically by the solution (if, based on patient data analysis, it identifies the need for treatment). Reports with therapy data and insights on the device state are available in the medical staff app.
Use cases ScienceSoft suggests:
- Cardiac rhythm management.
- Insulin therapy for diabetes patients and insulin intake monitoring.
- IoT-based tracking of medical devices’ condition.
- Pain management via electrotherapy devices stimulating nerves or muscles (e.g., for migraine alleviation, muscle spasms).
- Posture correction using wearable devices that emit vibrations to help promote healthy behaviors.
Wearables for patient rehabilitation can enable physical therapy delivery and collect data on at-home or hospital-based rehabilitation progress. The key advantage is that the wearables allow the medical staff to precisely capture the way patients perform physiotherapy exercises, monitor rehabilitation efficiency and patients’ vitals during the exercises.
Examples of wearables for patient rehabilitation: smart gloves, range-of-motion assessment sensors, body temperature and respiration sensors, EMG sensors, etc.
How software for medical wearables works: The patient health state data is collected by devices’ sensors that read and quantify patients’ movements, assess vitals (e.g., heart rate) during a rehabilitation session. Cloud software stores and analyzes data transferred by rehabilitation wearables. The data interpreted by software is shown in the app for physical therapists to help them assess patients’ improvements, rehabilitation efficiency, and adjust the therapy.
Use cases ScienceSoft suggests:
- Stroke rehabilitation (e.g., using smart gloves to regain movement through repeated hand and arm movements).
- Monitoring of joint movement improvement (e.g., after bone fractures, joint surgeries).
- Cardiac monitoring for patients recovering after heart surgeries or acute conditions (e.g., a heart attack).
- Home care for patients with chronic diseases (e.g., neurological, cardiac diseases).
- Electromyography monitoring of nervous and muscle response during rehabilitation.
Early disease diagnostics
Wearable diagnostics devices can identify intermittent symptoms (e.g., heart palpitations) that could have been not present during doctor appointments. When a patient has such infrequent symptoms, a doctor prescribes continuous monitoring with wearables (often for 1-2 weeks). These devices enable fact-based disease diagnosing and help improve patient outcomes.
Examples of wearables for early disease diagnostics: skin temperature, perspiration sensors, heart rate monitors, glucose monitors, holter monitors, etc.
How software for medical wearables works: The cloud server gets patient health data from devices that monitor the patient’s vitals in real time for analysis. Based on pre-set parameters, the solution spots abrupt changes in patient vitals and displays a report on identified abnormalities in the doctor’s app. The comprehensive data allows doctors to timely confirm patients’ diagnoses and plan treatment.
Use cases ScienceSoft suggests:
- Diagnostics of cardiac conditions and developing pathologies like atrial fibrillation.
- Monitoring of patients with prediabetes.
- As a part of complex diagnostics of neurological conditions (e.g., Parkinson’s disease).
- Blood coagulation monitoring to prevent ischemic stroke.
Physical activity tracking wearables aim to maintain patient health and improve the quality of life. Wearables enable a continuous analysis of the quantity and quality of physical activity and help patients introduce well-informed lifestyle change decisions.
Examples of wearables for activity tracking: wearable activity trackers, smart watches, skin temperature sensors, perspiration sensors, etc.
How software for medical wearables works: Software collects data from wearable devices that track patients’ physical activity like steps, energy consumption, physical activity time, quality of physical activity (e.g., moderate or vigorous activity). The analyzed data is displayed to a patient for self-monitoring and is available for a doctor as an activity report (featuring average daily activity, number of days meeting a pre-set physical activity threshold, etc.). During appointments or health check-ups, the doctor uses the activity insights together with other health metrics (e.g., lab tests, medical device data) to offer recommendations on health state improvement.
Use cases ScienceSoft suggests:
- Physical activity tracking among populations (especially geriatric patients, people leading a sedentary lifestyle, etc.).
- Monitoring of physical activity for patients with cardiovascular diseases.
- Activity tracking for cancer patients (e.g., those receiving chemotherapy) to evaluate their health state and predict chemotherapy complications.
- Tracking of physical activity among patients with rheumatic diseases (e.g., juvenile idiopathic arthritis).
- Activity monitoring for patients who underwent bariatric surgery.
Wearable device connectivity
Use: to ensure the connection between wearable medical devices and the cloud server.
Bluetooth Low Energy
Real-time data streaming
Use: to ensure the transition of collected data from wearable devices to a data lake.
Use: to store data collected by wearable devices in the cloud in the initial format.
With 17 years in healthcare IT consulting and development services and an ISO 13485 certified quality management system, ScienceSoft helps you design and implement software for medical wearables.
IoT consulting services for wearables
- Plan functionality of IoT software for wearables based on your business needs.
- Map user journeys to plan UX and UI.
- Design high-level architecture, APIs for integrations with medical systems.
- Plan integrations with wearables.
- Estimate the cost, ROI, and software delivery timelines.
- Guide on HIPAA, HITECH, FDA compliance.
Software development for wearables
- Conceptualize software for wearables based on youe business needs.
- Create feature lists for each user group.
- Plan software architecture and integrations with wearables.
- Develop the MVP and roll out secondary features based on the feedback.
- Ensure compliance with required regulations (HIPAA, HITECH, etc.).
Our Customers Say
Prof. Dr. Department of Biomedical Science
During our cooperation, ScienceSoft proved to have vast expertise in Healthcare and Life Science industries related to the development a desktop software connected to laboratory equipment, mobile application and data analytics platform. They bring top quality talents and deep knowledge of IT technologies and approaches in accordance with ISO13485 and IEC62304 standards.
Chairman & CEO
To develop a mobile application that would enhance a line of Bluetooth-enabled devices for newborn and baby care, we opened an app development tender. ScienceSoft's proof-of-concept was convincing enough for us to further the cooperation. During the project flow we were very pleased by the work of ScienceSoft’s business analysts and developers, who demonstrated high level of skills and competence.
ScienceSoft designed and developed a native iOS app that offers a quantitative assessment of users’ physical fitness. I was impressed with the excellent level of responsibility, communication skills and mobile competences of both the management team and developers. All the tasks were completed accurately, promptly and efficiently.
In healthcare IT since 2005, ScienceSoft is an international software consulting and development company with headquarters in Texas, US, and offices in Europe and the Middle East. ScienceSoft has ISO 13485 certified quality management system for developing software for medical devices and SaMD and is ready to design and build remote patient monitoring software leveraging the medical Internet of Things.