Your wearable is selfish. But some are being used for social good

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Perhaps it’s not surprising that healthcare has emerged as a good space to meld wearable tech with social good. Some of the most popular wearables out there are wristbands that monitor heart rates and physical activity. Devices that hug the body, are a natural place to use sensors to monitor vital signs.

UNICEF is already using a low-tech wearable device for measuring the nutrition levels of children in developing regions. The non-digital tape, which was showed off during the panel discussion, is wrapped around a child’s upper arm to gauge the circumference, and its tri-color band gives different readings of how well the child is fed.

Gigaom

Most of the new wearable devices out there today are focused solely on helping users better their own lives: become more fit, sleep more easily or work more productively. But what if wearable devices could help make the broader world a better place, like enabling more efficient ways to deliver healthcare to poor communities?

A panel sponsored by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Frog Design in San Francisco recently explored this topic of marrying wearables with social good projects in the developing world. For example, Google Glass could better coordinate communication among emergency responders and hospital staff, or a headset could be used for measuring brain waves to enable easier monitoring of conditions like epilepsy.

Google Glass ER doctor

Perhaps it’s not surprising that healthcare has emerged as a good space to meld wearable tech with social good. Some of the most popular wearables out there are wristbands that monitor heart rates and…

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