Wearable devices used in healthcare to quantify disease progression


In recent years, the integration of wearable technology into healthcare has revolutionized the approach to monitoring and managing various medical conditions. From Parkinson’s disease to diabetes, wearable devices have emerged as invaluable tools in quantifying disease progression and enhancing patient care. This article delves into the diverse array of wearable devices utilized in healthcare settings, each tailored to specific conditions and capturing unique movements for accurate assessment.

1. Wearable Cutaneous Haptic Interface (WCHI)

The Wearable Cutaneous Haptic Interface (WCHI) is a pioneering finger-worn device for monitoring Parkinson’s disease. Specifically engineered to assess movement, it utilizes three degrees of freedom technology to capture essential data on tremors and bradykinesia, which are common symptoms of the condition. This innovative device provides clinicians comprehensive insights into disease progression, enabling more effective evaluation and treatment strategies. WCHI holds promise for enhancing diagnosis, monitoring, and potentially aiding in rehabilitation for individuals living with Parkinson’s Disease.

2. Smart Electro-Clothing Systems (SeCSs)

Smart Electro-Clothing Systems (SeCSs) revolutionize heart health monitoring through a holistic approach utilizing surface electromyography (sEMG) and heart rate (HR) monitoring. These wearable systems feature sensors distributed across the body, enabling comprehensive data collection on heart rate variability. By capturing sEMG and HR data, SeCSs provide valuable insights into cardiovascular health, facilitating effective management of conditions such as arrhythmias and heart failure. SeCSs are instrumental in preventative care and disease management, offering a comfortable and non-invasive monitoring solution and empowering individuals to maintain optimal heart health.

3. Xsens DOT

Xsens DOT is a versatile device designed for healthcare and sports applications, offering broad utility in movement assessment. While not disease-specific, its adaptable nature makes it valuable across various contexts. By leveraging internal sensors and widespread body coverage, Xsens DOT facilitates comprehensive data collection crucial for assessing conditions like osteoarthritis. Beyond healthcare, it serves sports applications by analyzing gait patterns, monitoring joint movement for injury prevention in athletes, and tracking rehabilitation progress post-injury or surgery. Its versatility makes it a valuable tool for healthcare professionals and athletes, enabling informed decision-making and optimal performance.

4. 5DT Data Glove

The 5DT Data Glove is an advanced device specializing in robust hand motion tracking, employing fiber optic sensors to measure intricate fingers and wrist movements with exceptional precision. Originally designed for medical applications such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease, it provides precise data on flexion, extension, abduction, and adduction movements, offering valuable insights into hand function. Beyond the medical field, the glove finds utility in applications such as robotics control, where accurate hand movements are essential, and virtual reality environments enable natural hand interactions with virtual objects. Its detailed tracking capabilities make it versatile for diverse industries, enhancing performance and user experience in numerous contexts.

5. Neofect Raphael Dataglove

The Neofect Raphael Dataglove is a specialized device for post-stroke patients undergoing hand rehabilitation. It uses accelerometers and bending sensors to precisely track the fingers, wrist, and forearm movements. Specifically designed to measure flexion and extension, the dataglove provides therapists with detailed data for assessing progress and customizing treatment plans for each patient’s unique needs. By facilitating personalized rehabilitation efforts, the Neofect Raphael Dataglove plays a vital role in helping stroke patients regain motor skills and achieve greater independence in their daily lives.

6. Stretchsense Data Glove

The Stretchsense Data Glove is a versatile device designed for applications across gaming, augmented reality, and biomedical industries, prioritizing flexibility and comfort for diverse uses. Equipped with flexion and extension sensors for fingers and thumb, it offers accurate hand movement tracking crucial for advancements in various domains. Beyond healthcare, the glove’s flexibility suits gaming environments, providing natural hand-based controls and augmented reality experiences requiring intuitive interactions with virtual objects. Moreover, its application extends to the biomedical industry and robotics, offering a comfortable and flexible solution for capturing hand movement data essential for research and development purposes.

7. Flex Sensor (Data Glove)

Tailored for individuals with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease, the Flex Sensor Data Glove is designed to precisely capture the flexion and extension movements of the fingers and thumb joints. This glove provides real-time data on joint mobility, aiding in monitoring disease progression and optimizing rehabilitative interventions. Worn on the fingers, it utilizes sensors to capture a range of movements, including abduction and adduction, allowing therapists and healthcare professionals to comprehensively monitor joint function. By offering detailed insights into movement patterns, the Flex Sensor Data Glove is a valuable tool for improving diagnosis, monitoring, and personalized rehabilitation for individuals with specific movement limitations.

8. X-IST Data Glove

The X-IST Data Glove is designed for post-stroke patients, featuring bend and pressure sensors to measure finger and thumb movements precisely. Similar to the Neofect Raphael dataglove, it aids in hand function recovery by capturing detailed information about the movement of each finger and thumb. Worn on the hand and fingers, this device enables clinicians to assess motor function accurately and design tailored rehabilitation programs for improved outcomes. By offering therapists a deeper understanding of a patient’s progress, the X-IST Data Glove facilitates personalized treatment plans, potentially leading to faster and more effective rehabilitation for stroke patients.

9. MoCap Pro (SmartGlove)

The MoCap Pro SmartGlove is specially designed for stroke rehabilitation, focusing on capturing bend movements of MCP (metacarpophalangeal) and PIP (proximal interphalangeal) joints. Worn on the hand and fingers, this glove utilizes sensors to measure each finger joint’s movement precisely. Providing detailed data on finger range of motion facilitates comprehensive assessment and personalized treatment planning for stroke patients. Therapists can use this information to identify specific areas of weakness, and design targeted rehabilitation exercises to improve hand functionality. The MoCap Pro SmartGlove empowers therapists to tailor treatment plans, potentially leading to faster and more effective recovery for individuals recovering from stroke.

10. Textile-Based Wearable Gesture Sensing Device

Textile-Based Wearable Gesture Sensing Devices offer a non-invasive solution for monitoring flexion angles and assessing movement patterns in individuals with musculoskeletal disorders affecting the elbow and knee. Worn on these joints, these devices utilize textile-based sensors to capture movement data, including flexion angles. This data is invaluable for therapists and doctors in assessing joint mobility, identifying gait abnormalities, and monitoring treatment effectiveness. Providing a comfortable and non-invasive method for monitoring joint movement, Textile-Based Wearable Gesture Sensing Devices play a crucial role in diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating musculoskeletal disorders.

11. VICON System

The VICON System is a sophisticated tool for assessing musculoskeletal disorders affecting the shoulder and elbow. Utilizing multiple cameras, it tracks markers placed on the patient’s body, particularly focusing on the shoulder and elbow regions. By capturing the movement of these markers, the system calculates joint angles and kinematics, offering valuable insights into movement abnormalities. This detailed data aids targeted interventions by providing clinicians with essential information for diagnosis, treatment planning, and monitoring progress in individuals with musculoskeletal disorders.

12. Goniometer-Pro

The Goniometer-Pro is a specialized device utilized in stroke rehabilitation, focusing on measuring passive flexion of the knee joint. Primarily designed for individuals recovering from stroke or other conditions affecting knee mobility, this device provides essential data for assessing joint mobility and tracking progress during rehabilitation. Placed on the knee, it measures the maximum knee flexion angle, aiding clinicians in designing effective exercise programs and monitoring recovery. Despite its simplicity, the Goniometer-Pro remains a valuable tool in clinical settings due to its affordability, ease of use, and ability to provide crucial information for rehabilitation planning.

13. Smart Garment Sensor System

Smart Garment Sensor Systems provide a wearable solution for monitoring movement patterns and identifying abnormalities in clinical settings, particularly focusing on lower limb joint position analysis. Worn on the leg, these systems incorporate strain sensors to capture data on lower limb joint positions. This information is crucial for analyzing various aspects of movement, including gait analysis and posture assessment. By analyzing this data, healthcare professionals can identify potential gait abnormalities, assess the risk of falls, and monitor the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs for individuals with lower limb injuries or disorders. Offering a non-invasive and comfortable solution, Smart Garment Sensor Systems play a significant role in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of various conditions related to lower limb movement.

14. Fineck

Fineck specializes in monitoring neck movement and respiratory frequency, offering valuable data on flexion extension and axial rotation repetitions. Worn around the neck, this device caters to individuals with specific needs, such as those managing respiratory conditions or requiring monitoring of neck movement. It captures neck flexion, extension, axial rotation data, and respiratory frequency. This information is beneficial for therapists in assessing neck mobility and posture and monitoring respiratory function in individuals with conditions like sleep apnea or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The Fineck device serves as a valuable tool for monitoring, assessing, and potentially managing specific health conditions related to neck health and respiratory function.


SMART DX is a versatile device with applications in gait clinical assessment and movement analysis, offering dynamic insights into muscle activity and postural analysis. Worn on various body parts, it allows for comprehensive gait analysis and movement assessment. Utilizing sensors, SMART DX captures data on muscle activity, posture, and motor rehabilitation progress. This comprehensive information enables healthcare professionals to obtain a detailed understanding of an individual’s movement patterns, aiding in the diagnosis of movement disorders, development of personalized rehabilitation plans, and monitoring of treatment effectiveness. SMART DX is a valuable tool for improving diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation across various healthcare settings.

16. ViMove

ViMove is a versatile device utilized in sports performance monitoring and clinical activity recognition, employing flexion extension and axial rotation measurements to provide valuable data for optimizing movement patterns and enhancing athletic performance. Worn on the neck, lower back, and knee, ViMove recognizes movement and activity patterns, offering benefits in both sports and clinical applications. In sports, it analyzes training techniques, identifies areas for improvement, and tracks performance metrics. In clinical settings, ViMove monitors movement patterns in individuals with specific conditions, assesses fall risks, and evaluates rehabilitation programs’ effectiveness. Its versatility makes ViMove a valuable tool for athletes and healthcare professionals in various contexts.

17. Dubbed Halo

Dubbed Halo is a wrist-worn device designed for voice monitoring applications, focusing on detecting emotional cues in speech to provide valuable insights into mental health and well-being. Unlike traditional wearable devices that capture movement data, Dubbed Halo analyzes voice patterns specifically for applications like “Tone,” aiming to detect “positivity” and “energy” in a user’s voice. While not directly related to physical movement, this technology has potential applications in mental health monitoring, performance coaching, and user experience research. Dubbed Halo represents the expanding possibilities of wearable devices beyond traditional movement and health monitoring applications, highlighting their potential in various areas of human interaction and well-being.

18. Polysomnography Sensors

Polysomnography Sensors are essential for identifying sleep apnea and capturing breathing volume and heart rate to enable accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment planning for sleep disorders. Typically attached to various locations on the body during sleep studies, including the chest, hand, leg, and head, these sensors capture data on breathing volume, heart rate, and other physiological parameters. Despite not directly capturing movement, polysomnography remains a gold standard for sleep disorder diagnosis, providing crucial information for improving sleep quality and overall health.

19. Pulse Oximetry

Primarily utilized in pulmonary disease management, Pulse Oximetry is a crucial tool for monitoring respiratory health. This simple fingertip device measures oxygen saturation in the blood and other parameters such as respiratory rate, breathing pattern, and even air quality in some models. Pulse oximetry is extensively used across various healthcare settings, from hospitals to home care, offering comprehensive insights into respiratory health. It aids in detecting potential issues like low blood oxygen levels or respiratory difficulties, enabling timely interventions and personalized treatment plans.

20. TZOA

TZOA is a wearable environment tracker focused on respiratory disease management that clips onto clothing and monitors air quality and humidity, providing valuable data for assessing environmental factors impacting respiratory conditions. It measures tiny airborne particles (PM 2.5 and 10) and humidity levels that can affect respiratory health and UV radiation levels for sun protection awareness. The data collected by TZOA is displayed through a dedicated app, allowing users to access real-time information about their environment. Additionally, this data may contribute to a real-time environmental data map, fostering awareness and aiding individuals and researchers in understanding air quality and UV levels for better respiratory health management.

21. Eversense Glucose Monitoring, GuardianConnect System, and Dexcom CGM

With a primary focus on diabetes management, these hand-worn devices offer continuous glucose monitoring, enabling individuals to track their glucose levels and make informed decisions regarding insulin dosage and dietary adjustments. Eversense Glucose Monitoring, GuardianConnect System, and Dexcom CGM are all examples of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems. Individuals with diabetes use these wearable devices to monitor their blood glucose (sugar levels) daily and at night, providing real-time data and insights compared to traditional finger-pricking methods.


Wearable devices play a pivotal role in healthcare by facilitating the quantification of disease progression across various medical conditions. From Parkinson’s disease to diabetes, these devices offer personalized insights into patient health, enabling clinicians to tailor treatment plans and improve patient outcomes effectively. As technology advances, the integration of wearable devices into healthcare holds immense promise for enhancing disease management and revolutionizing patient care.