Two facts sum up much of the interest in wearable Health Tech devices and services. The first is that chronic conditions are responsible for a major share of healthcare costs and deaths every year. The second is the hope that more data about individuals and the community as a whole can lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment. With the help of the Radboud university medical center in the Netherlands, Royal Philips has launched a prototype wearable designed to monitor patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The device tracks a wide range of data, including physical activity/inactivity, respiratory indicator, heart rhythm, and heart rate variability. This information is sent to the cloud where it is analyzed and shared with healthcare professionals. This is an important demonstration program that combines personal health information with clinical data in a system designed from the ground up for healthcare applications.

This demonstration is intended to show the benefits of the Big Data analysis in monitoring and treating patients with COPD. The same system could then be applied to other chronic conditions, with the potential to greatly improve outcomes while lowering health care costs.