Wearables and the medical revolution

Per Med. 2018 Sep;15(5):429-448. doi: 10.2217/pme-2018-0044. Epub 2018 Sep 27.


Wearable sensors are already impacting healthcare and medicine by enabling health monitoring outside of the clinic and prediction of health events. This paper reviews current and prospective wearable technologies and their progress toward clinical application. We describe technologies underlying common, commercially available wearable sensors and early-stage devices and outline research, when available, to support the use of these devices in healthcare. We cover applications in the following health areas: metabolic, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal monitoring; sleep, neurology, movement disorders and mental health; maternal, pre- and neo-natal care; and pulmonary health and environmental exposures. Finally, we discuss challenges associated with the adoption of wearable sensors in the current healthcare ecosystem and discuss areas for future research and development.

Keywords: digital health; longitudinal monitoring; sensors; wearables; wireless telemetry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / methods
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods*
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / trends
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / trends
  • Telemetry
  • Wearable Electronic Devices / trends*
  • Wireless Technology