MarketScale: Labor shortages are driving growth of wearable heart tech

Biomedical engineering professor explains why new devices are in such high demand

MarketScale turned to a biomedical engineering professor at the University of Cincinnati to explain the high growth of wearable technology in the field of cardiovascular medicine.

UC College of Engineering and Applied Science Professor Jason Heikenfeld said companies are trying to replicate the success of home blood-glucose monitoring for diabetes with other chronic illnesses such as heart disease.

“Cardiovascular disease is coming for all of us,” Heikenfeld told Marketscale. “If you look at the states, at age 60 you have a 50% chance of having cardiovascular disease. It's something that will affect all of us, especially as the population ages.”

In his Novel Device Lab, Heikenfeld and his research team have applied for more than 100 patents on a variety of new sensors and wearable technology.

Heikenfeld said labor shortages in health care are driving the growth of home-health monitoring and wearable technology.

“For hospitals and providers, there’s a huge push to decentralize medicine and get it out of the clinic,” he said. “Doing things in-clinic is costly. And we have an infrastructure bottleneck. So we need to find ways to streamline things and make them more efficient.”

Heikenfeld said researchers working on the next generation of sensors are using the latest glucose monitors for inspiration.

“They are total works of art,” he said. “They’re beautiful. They last for two weeks. They’re disposable. They’re affordable. They’re highly accurate. Patients apply them and most don’t feel any pain or anything whatsoever, so patients are happy with them.”

Watch the MarketScale interview.

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