Australia to use wearables to monitor chronic conditions

Following research from Griffith University in Australia, wearable devices will be available for medical professionals to help remotely manage chronic conditions.

The move is intended to help patients self-manage conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The wearables will be available next February and will use chips provided by telecoms company Huawei Technology who worked alongside Griffith University and Tonwo Health Clinic Technology during the research. The chips will use narrowband internet (NB_IoT) technology and will send live data to an application platform.

Speaking about the project, associate professor Jing Sun from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland said: “Both patients and doctors can view not only historical data to make a disease diagnosis but also manage the potential risks for other health conditions.”

Professor Sun’s team at Menzies Health Institute Queensland have been helping develop a prototype of the wearable device and will be engaging in a patient trial to evaluate data next year.

The use of wearable devices could save the Australian healthcare system billions of dollars, according to professor Sun.

Patients are expected to use the wearables to monitor blood pressure, glucose levels, BMI, heart-rate, pulse oximeter and the condition of their heart. Patients’ GPs will be able to provide them with full remote monitoring and will can guide them on how to check their own health.

Following research, the organisations have five devices ready for launch including a blood pressure monitor table, blood pressure on arm, handheld pulse oximeter, blood glucose meter and a body fat scale.

John Zeng, president of Tonwo Health Clinic Technology, said: “Our NB-IoT real time medical devices are first in the world and are ready for mass production now. The network in Australia will be provided by operators to support the communication between the devices and NB-IoT.”

CEO of Huawei Australia, Xichu Zhao said: “The application of NB-IoT is very wide and is particularly suitable for medical and healthcare services. With our innovative IoT technology, Huawei is helping different partners on their road to success and achieving our role as the largest IoT incubator in Australia. IoT technology is particularly suitable for monitoring patients with chronic disease or for those undergoing rehabilitation. With the collaboration of the NB-IoT testing platform at James Cook University, we are delighted to be a part of this. The potential of NB-IoT in the healthcare industry is unlimited and we are expecting more exciting business models to come in the near future.”

Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via:

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