One of the biggest obstacles to implementing and optimizing the use of technology in clinical settings is usability. Many of today’s most helpful devices were not built for use in the fast-paced, high-pressure, detail-oriented environments that healthcare professionals work in. That is why wearable technology is such an exciting step forward.

In a variety of ways, these technologies are literally connected to the body. There are bracelets that monitor vital signs, headsets that record physician observations and patches that administer pain killers. As these technologies grow in quality and ubiquity, they will change the way that we manage our health. Here’s how:

Patients Will Take Control of Their Healthcare

For most of history, patients have relied on physicians and clinical professionals to provide information about their health. Wearable devices can report vital, real-time information directly to the patient, empowering them to make choices about their own health. This improves outcomes and decreases unnecessary hospital visits.

Treatment Will Happen Faster

The same technologies that help patients monitor their health can be used to help physicians monitor the status of chronic conditions. For instance, a digestible chip can wirelessly send readings from inside a patient’s body back to the physician. When health improves or declines, the physician knows without having to order expensive and time-consuming tests.

Medical Procedures Will Improve

Technologies like Google Glass can seamlessly integrate a physician with a wealth of digital health information and computer-aided tools. The potential of this technology is impossible to overstate, and new applications are constantly being explored. Expect digital glasses to be a standard features in the operating rooms of the future.

Patients Will Manage Their Own Pain

Managing pain has always been a challenge for both patients and healthcare professionals. Wearable technology will allow patients to administer pain treatments according to their own needs, rather than going through a third party. Physicians can set limits and safeguards and then hand the control over to the patient.

Preventative Medicine Will Be Easier

Many people already use a wearable technology in the form of a fitness wristband that reports back information about sleep, activity, calorie consumption and more. As these technologies become more widespread and easier to use, patients will have the information they need to prevent health conditions instead of waiting for them to become debilitating problems.

Wearable technology is a healthcare revolution in the truest sense of the word. Every aspect of prevention, diagnosis and treatment has the potential to improve as these technologies develop. Follow along with MedPartners HIM as we continue to report on the future of healthcare.