Is Wearable Technology Keeping People Safe?

Wearable technology, or devices that are fit to the body and monitor, alert, and collect information, is providing employers and consumers alike with new advantages when it comes to safety. In the workplace, wearable technology can help employers monitor and record the safety data of their employees. In addition, there are wearable devices to alert alcohol consumers of their BAC prior to driving in an effort to reduce instances of drunk driving. Other technology, such as Apple watches, can sense some accidents and alert emergency assistance when the consumer is hurt.

Wearables and Workplace Safety

For employers looking to improve workplace safety, wearables provide a cutting edge solution to reducing the number of accidents and unsafe behaviors. Smartwatches, eyewear, cameras, and sensors can monitor employee behavior and alert employers to factors that increase the risk of a workplace injury. Health monitoring functionality that detects heart rate and signs of fatigue can expose potential overexertion. Wearable devices can alert employees to unsafe levels of toxins, noise, or explosion hazards that may otherwise go undetected. Monitoring of posture and body movement can uncover behaviors that increase the likelihood of sprains, strains, or other musculoskeletal injuries. The use of the data gathered from these devices to implement safety strategies, and the prevention of injuries through alert systems can reduce employer costs while providing employers and employees with peace of mind.

Curbing Drunk Driving With Wearable Technology

A monitoring device, developed by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), can detect alcohol levels in perspiration and send that information to a smartphone. The device, which resembles a patch or temporary tattoo, can alert alcohol consumers of dangerous driving conditions based on their BAC. This can help to reduce unsafe behaviors that align with excessive drinking and cause injury, such as drunk driving or overconsumption that progresses to alcohol poisoning. 

The device adheres to the skin and contains flexible wire components. One of the wires stimulates perspiration through a chemical release, while another measures the alcohol content and transmits the information to the individual’s smartphone. This non-invasive device has the potential to reduce drunk-driving accidents, a leading cause of fatality on U.S. roads.

Providing Assistance In Emergency Situations 

Wearable technology, such as the Apple Watch, provides consumers with life-saving safety features in dangerous situations. These devices offer quick access to emergency calls. The wearer can simply press and hold the SOS button on the side of the device and drag the SOS slider across the screen to place an emergency call. For individuals in sketchy situations, or who have limited mobility immediately after an accident, this feature can provide safety that is otherwise unattainable. In addition, a verbal command can be given to request a 911 call or text immediately.

In addition to easy access to emergency responders, the Apple watch has fall detection features. This means that if the wearer falls suddenly, the device will initiate an emergency alert. The victim has a window of time to decline the alert. If a person does not decline the alert or is unconscious, the device will place a call to emergency services and send a message to a previously designated emergency contact.