With the development of medical wearable diagnostic and analytic devices on the rise, so comes the rise of wearable medical therapy devices. These are devices that not only collect and analyze data, but also respond to the data by providing the wearer with a therapy to relieve the ailment. This can be anything from releasing a drug into the system as a response to analyzed data, or give a shock as a response to an irregular heart rate, or in the way of muscle stimulation. At Fieldtex, we aim to work with medical specialists who want to develop therapies into wearable devices.
One of the underlying goals of wearable medical garments is to be to give some treatment control back to the patient. When it comes to specified therapeutics, this is a more difficult task, as most therapies are either closely monitored by or are hands-on experiences involving a medical professional. Therapy treatments are specific types of treatments, and vary vastly based on what it is being used to treat. These treatments often require long-term use, for both multiple periods as well as potentially for long periods at a time. This means that a therapy device must not only be effective in producing a comparable effect of a traditional therapy, but must also be comfortable for extended use. It must be versatile, flexible, and able to move with the human form while effectively providing therapeutics. The development process of these devices is similar to the development of a holster or pouch for an artificial or wearable organ transportation solution. In the same regard, the device must be unobtrusive and can’t impede on the progression of treatment.
An example of an existing therapy that is developed into a wearable is physical therapy. One of the largest long-term therapy markets, developing a wearable from physical therapy is also one of the most difficult, as the reasons and functions of physical therapy vary from patient to patient. Development of physical therapy devices can be anything from providing consistent stimulation in order to continue muscle exertion to detection, to sensing when a muscle is under stress and providing either hot or cold therapy depending on the type of distress (these are two vague examples, and these therapies can be drilled down based on what body part, therapy purpose, etc.).
A question that many developers will have to ask themselves while they are in the development process of their therapy device is whether the garments will be developed for universal treatments and distribution, or for specified niche treatments exclusively used when medically prescribed. While it is going to be fairly easy for some device developers to answer this question (in the event of a therapy device being developed for a specific and serious medical ailment), it can be assumed that the end goal of most wearables is going to be versatility and ability to be used in both events (for example, cooling therapy can be used by anyone from someone suffering multiple sclerosis to a healthy athlete cooling down after a game in heat).
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The development of wearable therapy garments has yet to have reached widespread recognition, and as such, the technology and solutions surrounding these garments is constantly changing and developing further. The development these devices is based on market demand. If there is a way to expedite, improve, or revolutionize the therapy of an injury, illness, or chronic pain, there could be a new device.
Do you have a wearable therapy solution you would like to produce? We can help you bring your idea from Prototype to Production.