Ditch the Watch: Why Fabrics Are the Next Frontier for Healthcare Wearables

New York startup Nextiles has developed a form of wearable technology that is embedded into clothing and captures data using Bluetooth. The founder of Nextiles, George Sun, said, “Nextiles can supply healthcare providers and patients with real-time advanced data metrics by using a single article of smart fabric compared to wearing multiple clunky wearables.”

Wearables have existed for some time, starting first with pedometers like the Fitbit and evolving into smart devices like the Apple Watch. In fact, it has been estimated that over 100 million people use an Apple Watch. As a result, there is broad acceptance for these devices that track and monitor health data.

Nextiles believes that the next frontier is to take this technology out of accessories like watches and embed it into articles of clothing. The potential ramifications of this development for the healthcare industry are particularly intriguing.

“Healthcare will be able to leverage big data, not just macro trends in health, but also personalize information,” says Dr. Jorge Barraza, a professor in the online Master of Science in Applied Psychology program at the University of Southern California. “It is currently reactive…but as the technology starts to evolve, we may soon see proactive data that can identify patterns from these sensing devices and make recommendations for optimal health and well-being customized to the individual.”

Dr. Jorge Barraza, Ph.D., is a professor in the online Master of Science in Applied Psychology program at the University of Southern California. He is also the co-founder and Chief Science Officer at Immersion, which provides scalable technologies that leverage neuroscience to quantify deeply immersive experiences.

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