If you watch enough online promotional videos for wearable gadgets, you start to notice a trend. The people using these devices are all attractive, healthy, single professionals in their mid-20s living in well-gentrified pockets of San Francisco and New York with ample free time and disposable income.
It's as if the folks developing wearable technology are stuck on themselves, unable to see past their own pet concerns – mostly feeling good, looking good and achieving their maximum potential – to some the broader health problems plaguing society.
Writer J.C. Herz asks an intriguing question in Wired magazine: Is wearable technology failing the people who need it most? What if this biometric technology was put into the hands – and on the bodies – of people suffering with chronic health conditions like diabetes? It's not as sexy as a shoe clip that automatically calls Uber when you click your heels three times (yes, that's a real gadget), but we might actually save some lives. Forty percent of American adults with a chronic disease track their health indicators – and because of what's at stake, they won't stop doing it the way a weekend athlete might. The real money (and potential), Herz says, is in wearable medical devices rather than fitness trackers.