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What is wearable cognitive support and what can it do?

The AI-enabled devices can assist health systems in a number of ways, including by reducing surgery times by 30%. A Deloitte specialist discusses what is required to fully realise the promise of WCA.


The next competitive edge that hospitals and health systems require to enhance clinical workflows and cut costs may be wearable cognitive aid.


The technology, which combines edge computing with AI-enabled gadgets, enables humans to do jobs more effectively by providing them with virtual instructions and, occasionally, by linking them with other people who can help them.


The software, for instance, might be used by a surgeon in conjunction with glasses designed specifically for individual patients and offering a presurgery checklist. Improved visuals and simple access to a patient’s medical history could be provided using augmented reality, which would increase patient safety while speeding up some procedures.


A recent paper from Deloitte discusses how WCA could alter workflow and procedures in the healthcare industry and beyond. We spoke with Apan Tiwari, managing director at Deloitte, one of the report’s authors, about the technology and how health institutions ought to use it.


Q. Briefly define wearable cognitive help; why should healthcare executives care?

A. Wearable cognitive aid describes wearable gadgets that are combined with edge computing and computer vision to enable sophisticated human interactions to address challenging real-world issues. WCA uses AI-enabled, task-specific software that ensures the work has been correctly completed and, if necessary, can connect to real human specialists for assistance. This distinguishes WCA devices from other wearable devices.


The healthcare industry has a lot of opportunity for WCA; some examples include:


advanced training in surgery. There are new tools available now that could be utilised to teach fundamental surgical procedures. But with WCA, the AI-enabled, task-specific software can give surgeons real-time feedback, greatly improving the training. The amazing thing about this technology is that it allows you to teach surgeons all over the world in the most recent surgical methods, which eliminates geographical restrictions. It also inspires us to imagine how improving access to training can improve healthcare in developing nations.


support for surgery The task-specific software can be used as a tool for surgeons to utilise for planning surgeries, with the task-specific software on the device giving recommendations/options. It can also guide a surgeon during an actual surgery, with the option of dialling in an expert if the circumstance demands.


smart upkeep and repair. In our article, we discuss situations for repairs and upkeep that also apply to medical and pharmaceutical equipment.


How do WCA technologies and 5G and edge computing interact with one another?

A. WCA equipment must be:

compact (They are wearables)

powerful (for real-time verification/action suggestion)

while providing a reasonable battery life (without overheating).


In order to achieve this delicate balance, edge computing infrastructure must be expanded and coupled to higher-capacity on-device storage and computation resources via a high-capacity, low-latency wireless connection, such as 5G.


With AI-infused, task-specific software, the WCA devices would be able to integrate real-time image capturing, processing, action validation, and advising an action in a small form factor.


What significant potential exists for the development of these technologies in the coming years?


A. Over the next ten years, the market for enterprise wearables is expected to expand rapidly. A segment of the larger enterprise wearables market, WCA devices have great potential going forward.


What are some obstacles that will need to be overcome along the way?

A. There are currently no standards for WCA deployments, and no WCA products are available off the market.


Using fixed-wireless public 5G or private 5G/Wi-Fi plus on-premise edge, low-latency wireless plus edge for interior use is now ready for prime time. In general, telecommunications providers will need to provide enhanced 5G coverage to support mobile-outdoor use cases.


Any new technology will bring with it fresh cybersecurity and privacy risks that need to be fixed before use. Similar standards must be met by protected information obtained via wearables, especially in the healthcare industry.


What should IT decision-makers in hospitals and healthcare organisations do to effectively reap the rewards of WCA tools?

A. In my opinion, one should always begin by stating the problem: What are you attempting to resolve, why is it important, and what is the return?


After fully comprehending the aforementioned, one should begin formulating a solution, which might include a WCA element. The most likely course of action will involve an ecological play, and the decision-makers must enlist the appropriate:


systems engineer (s).

device OEMs.

Provider of a 5G/Wi-Fi network.

Cloud and on-premises storage and computing service provider.

OEM software that specialises, etc.

Given the problem statement and solution architecture, these partners will be chosen contextually.



Himanshu Mahawar

Himanshu Mahawar is the Editor and Founder at Flaunt Weekly.

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