Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Mar 28, 2021; 27(12): 1149-1160
Published online Mar 28, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i12.1149
Emerging wearable technology applications in gastroenterology: A review of the literature
Kimberly PL Chong, Benjamin KP Woo
Kimberly PL Chong, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA 91766, United States
Benjamin KP Woo, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Olive View - University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, Sylmar, CA 91342, United States
Author contributions: Chong KPL and Woo BKP both performed the collection of data and contributed to the manuscript drafting.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare no conflict of interests.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Benjamin KP Woo, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Olive View - University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, 14445 Olive View Drive, Cottage H1, Sylmar, CA 91342, United States.
Received: December 9, 2020
Peer-review started: December 9, 2020
First decision: January 23, 2021
Revised: February 12, 2021
Accepted: March 10, 2021
Article in press: March 10, 2021
Published online: March 28, 2021

The field of gastroenterology has recently seen a surge in wearable technology to monitor physical activity, sleep quality, pain, and even gut activity. The past decade has seen the emergence of wearable devices including Fitbit, Apple Watch, AbStats, and ingestible sensors. In this review, we discuss current and future devices designed to measure sweat biomarkers, steps taken, sleep efficiency, gastric electrical activity, stomach pH, and intestinal contents. We also summarize several clinical studies to better understand wearable devices so that we may assess their potential benefit in improving healthcare while also weighing the challenges that must be addressed.

Keywords: Wearable technology, Wearables, Ingestibles, Smartphone, Remote patient monitoring, Gastroenterology

Core Tip: Wearable technology allows continuous health monitoring to provide a novel means of diagnosing and managing patients. Applications of wearable technology such as wrist wearables, abdominal wearables, smartphones and mobile apps, and ingestible sensors, are developing in gastroenterology. The aim of this review is to investigate current data from the literature that studies recent wearable technologies in several gastrointestinal diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and other functional gastrointestinal disorders.