Perhaps surprisingly, the first wearable dates back to the year 1778, when Swiss watchmaker, inventor and horologist Abraham-Louis Perrelet was credited with inventing the first motion-sensitive, self-winding watch capable of measuring both distance and steps while walking. Ten years later, founding father Thomas Jefferson reportedly brought the device to the newly formed United States, and as they say, the rest is history.
The first modern patent for the pedometer was granted to Englishman John Harwood in 1924. Since that time, the wearables market has all but exploded. Since the rapid adoption of devices like the Fitbit and the ECG-enabled Apple Watch, everyone seems to be using a smartwatch not only to tell time but also to keep close tabs on their personal health data.
Smartwatches are only the tip of the iceberg: Gone are the days when medtech was developed in sterile white labs helmed by pharma’s most prominent players. Today, organizations like Samsung, Google and NASA are in on the game, using their advanced capabilities and top-notch talent to develop the latest entrants into the medtech game.