Population Health Management Software Vendors are doing a lot to keep up with the growing technological aspects of the healthcare industries. There are so many new products and softwares entering the market that they need to update their stock everytime to keep up with the demand. One of the healthcare technology that has been in high demand of late is wearable devices.

People use them to keep track of their health and doctors and physicians encourage their patients to use them so they can have more real-time data about a patient's health. The market must progress for specific health monitoring medical device development and trials are vital to ensure acceptability with industry, health insurance companies, clinicians and users. There is a significant billion dollar market potential and successful medical grade wearables could save health care services billions in costs.

Using Wearable Healthcare Devices

The people who use wearable healthcare technology ranges across demographics. From young people in their 20s who use them to keep fit, to middle aged people who use them to remind themselves to keep fit (like counting steps for example) to older people who rely on them to track their health. The users of this technology are always keen to test and try new wearable technologies as they move around and try to increase their fitness levels. This is a good thing for vendors.

The trend of wearable healthcare devices has gone through different stages, from it being a fitness device, to a fashion device to a status accessory. Whatever the reasons users have for owning them, they have become increasingly common and the healthcare industry cannot ignore the wealth of patient data that can be gotten from them. People are now demanding that wearable technologies go beyond fashion or trend and actually start to assist them address their individual health and fitness goals - people are demanding more sophistication from these devices. This goal can be achieved with the combination of both wearables and smartphone apps.

The fact is the two go together and you cannot have a sophisticated wearable technological device without have an app to go with it. The app is what tracks, aggregates and stores the data being collected. Survey have shown that young adults are the most tech savvy group and are keen to use wearable technology and adopt it to their needs. Women are more likely to use mobile health devices and apps than men to try to monitor specific health needs. Wearable technology users tend to have more disposable income (the status factor). Consumers are demanding their wearables and apps become part of their daily routine, fitting into their lifestyle and improving their overall long-term health.

The next stage for wearable health devices is to make it accessible to everyone not just those people who can afford it. Right now a fitbit or an Apple watch is seen as a luxury device. The healthcare industry should -in partnership with the makers of this tech- work towards making it more affordable and more accessible so everyone has equal access to quality care.

At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, experts in healthcare and technology discussed technological advances, such as wearable devices, which will have a role in patient-centered preventive care as they are increasingly used to clinically monitor heart rate, blood pressure, and other vitals.

Wearable Healthcare Devices: Monitoring Health

Aside from general fitness wearables and apps, there is also an increase in the use of specific health requirement monitoring, especially in older age groups. This is the big opportunity in healthcare: medical grade devices for users to monitor and treat or rehabilitate chronic disease and other conditions. The older generation is likely to benefit more from this.

Having real time data of their health as they go about their day would help them be more aware of their health and will help their doctors and care providers provide better and more personalized care. Data analytics also play a key part here. Clinicians need to proactively manage patient’s wearable data and take time to complete this task to facilitate integration of the data into patient health records. The promise of the data these wearable devices can pick up and transmit to providers could help transform healthcare from delivering reactionary care to preventive care.

Wearable Healthcare Devices: Advantages

 

  • There is significant data from wearables: I’ve mentioned it repeatedly in this article that the data gotten from wearables is very important and significant to improving quality of care. For example, in cardiology, there are wearable devices that can provide information on heart rhythm and the patient’s behaviors, as well as information like blood pressure, breathing patterns, and blood glucose levels. Imagine how advantageous this is to older citizens who need this kind of monitoring. Though there are more advances to be made in the ability of wearable devices to collect all the relevant data physicians need about their patients, there is already great potential being shown in the industry and the next decade promises even more groundbreaking developments.

 

  • Data from wearables can be used in clinical trials: Clinical trials is one aspect of the healthcare process that is quite demanding in terms of time and cost. With the emergence of digital technology with healthcare, researchers are able to reimagine the way clinical trials are done and come up with more efficient solutions. With wearable technology, researchers can easily collect data from their test subjects such as amount of sleep, heart rate, and physical activity. Wearable healthcare devices allow the data to be collected passively and can produce a more representative picture of what do with an experimental drug or device as they go about their everyday lives.
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