Wearables Potential Impact on the Top 10 Causes of Death

- October 19, 2017

In 2012, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicated about half of all adults (117 million people at the time) had one or more chronic health conditions. By 2014, seven of the top 10 causes of death were chronic diseases, with heart disease and cancer accounting for nearly 46% of all deaths each year. The costliest (86% of the nation’s $2.7 trillion annual health care expenditures) chronic health problems like heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis, are among the most prevalent, and continue to be on the rise. Considering lack of exercise or physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption is linked to most of these diseases – they also are the most preventable and reversible. However, compliance in lifestyle change, monitoring and medication management of chronic disease has proven to be a great challenge for clinicians and patients alike. Thanks to innovations and advancements in technology, this is becoming more accessible and convenient for both patient and clinician.

One innovator now offers a solution that supports patient follow up, development of treatments and the ongoing need for study into these conditions, the Byteflies Exploration Kit and data platform. Byteflies, a Belgian-American wearable health start-up, has introduced high precision wearable sensors and a data platform that remotely tracks patient vital signs, from blood flow (PPG) to electro-dermal activity (EDA), electrocardiogram (ECG), motion, respiration, and electromyogram (EMG). The platform is based on insights gained through practical use cases and decades of experience in healthcare and technology applications, and uses extend beyond heart rate measurement.

“When it comes to monitoring health, wearables have incredible potential. However, a wristband that counts steps and measures heart rate just won’t cut it when you’re developing solutions for Parkinson’s disease, pulmonary and cardiovascular conditions, hypertension, or epilepsy,” explains Hans Danneels, CEO and co-founder of Byteflies. “You need to be able to measure raw, accurate data – the kind of data collected in hospitals.”  Their technology is currently used by universities and pharmaceutical companies for detection of epileptic seizures, blood pressure trends, balance, and fatigue.

Advancements and innovations in wearable devices like Byteflies wearable monitors and data platform, smart clothing and footwear to monitor activity and vitals, apps for patient reporting and communication, smart contact lenses monitoring glucose levels, and ingestibles to monitor medicine levels and conditions such as glucose level in diabetics, will help the industry take a much-needed turn to better management, monitoring and prevention. Convenience and ease-of-use for patients has shown promise with increased compliance, allowing physicians to take a more proactive approach in monitoring and treatment.  While wearables won’t solve the chronic disease concerns, and not all patients will understand or be willing to comply, it signals the beginning of a shift and not just a trend.  Availability is increasing, costs are declining and medtech for both physicians and patients is more widely accessible – all a progress in helping clinicians offer more effective care for their patients.


Education and information in medical technology for clinicians, healthcare execs and ACO’s is critical in the ever-changing field of medicine.  Get valuable insight, learn from industry leaders and connect with fellow medical professionals on technology and better patient care, all while exploring the latest innovations in medtech at the 2017 MedTech Impact Expo & Conference in Las Vegas, December 14-15, 2017.  Learn more.

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