Wearable technology (WT) has become a viable means to provide low-cost clinically sensitive data for more informed patient assessment. The benefit of WT seems obvious: small, worn discreetly in any environment, personalised data and possible integration into communication networks, facilitating remote monitoring. Yet, WT remains poorly understood and technology innovation often exceeds pragmatic clinical demand and use. Here, we provide an overview of the common challenges facing WT if it is to transition from novel gadget to an efficient, valid and reliable clinical tool for modern medicine. For simplicity, an A–Z guide is presented, focusing on key terms, aiming to provide a grounded and broad understanding of current WT developments in healthcare.