Devices for Your Goals Smart Wearables
What It Is
A smart wearable makes it possible to monitor your own health in a variety of ways. Wearables include watches and other biosensors that connect to a smartphone or mobile app, and in some cases to a healthcare practitioner’s monitoring system. Wearables can:
- Track vitals such as heart rate, blood glucose level, and blood pressure.
- Act as a medical alert systems to notify friends, family, and/or emergency services in case of a fall or other emergency.
- Track your location to let a loved one know if you have wandered.
More Smart Health Technology
Smart health monitoring technology doesn’t have to be wearable. It also includes:
- Smart medication dispensers that dispense the correct medication and dose at the right time of day, tracking use.
- Smart bathroom scales that sync with a mobile app to track weight over time (and possibly water intake and body mass index or BMI).
While smart health monitoring technology may not fit the conventional definition of smart “home” technology, it can certainly help you live independently in your own home. And, many smart watches give you access to the apps on your smartphone, including the apps for your smart home technology – providing another means of controlling your smart home devices.
It is your choice what technology you use and how it is configured to meet your goals. Remote support technology should be initiated by you, and should not violate your privacy. If you are not comfortable with a solution, tell your team! There are many different ways to achieve the same goal.
How It Helps
Smart health monitoring technology makes it easy to track your vitals and respond more quickly if there is a problem. Here are some examples of what you may be able to do using smart health monitoring technology:
- Track your vitals over time so you know if you’re staying on course or if there is any risk to your health.
- Receive alerts at specific times or when something isn’t right, such as when it’s time to take a certain medication, or when your heart rate goes above a certain threshold.
- Keep your family, caregiver, doctor, or therapist informed of your health and vitals so they can respond quickly if something is wrong.
- Call a family member, caregiver, or emergency services for help using a smart wearable, such as a watch or emergency alert system.
- Keep your family and caregivers informed of where you are.
In addition, smart watches can make it possible to:
- Dial anyone on your contact list by voice even if your phone is out of earshot. (Your phone does need to be within range of the device’s bluetooth signal, however.)
- Play music, podcasts, and audiobooks.
- Control some smart devices via their apps.
- Receive reminders to breathe and move at regular intervals.
- Receive alerts (sound, vibration, and on-screen) for phone and video calls and app notifications.
- Navigate with maps.
- Search online.
- Read text messages and emails.
- Check your calendar.
Choosing Your Device
Choosing the right device for you depends on many factors, including:
- What you want to do with the device
- How you want to do it
- Your accessibility needs
- The layout of your home
- Your internet connection
- What devices you would like to integrate together
Once you have a good idea of what you want and need, research which products can help. Reviews can be very useful to understand each product’s strengths and limitations.
The following guide from Wirecutter reviews a number of smart home devices, including smart watches:
Below are some of our favorite review websites. Many of them have “best of” lists for smart devices, as well as in-depth reviews of specific products. Try performing a search online using the name of the website plus the device type and the year. For example: PCMag best smart watch 2021.