Can you wear your heart on your sleeve? It may be possible to track key data points from your heart with wearables!
It seems like the entire technology and healthcare industry cannot stop talking about these new devices called wearables. Some of this hype has been a bit premature since there are still usability issues to sort out. However, the devices are beginning to be used by consumers to track health and fitness goals. This topic is not only of interest to consumers, but also to those in healthcare, as wearables may shape the future of the industry for the better.
One Boston doctor says that after attending the recent Consumer Electronic Show, he can see that the future of medicine will be greatly and positively influenced by the use of wearables. Many wearables and related health apps were featured at CSE, and while most are still focused on fitness, Dr. Michael Docktor, Gastroenterologist & Clinical Director of Innovation & Director of Clinical Mobile Solutions at Boston Children’s Hospital, believes they will soon play a significant role in medicine and can develop into useful tools for patients. He highlighted a few devices that can already provide valuable medical data such as the wearable ECG, and the wearable EEG headband, which uses sensor technology.
The potential of these devices rides on the value of data that they will collect. What benefits can this data provide to the patient and their care team? While this data certainly can be useful, there is the question of who will manage and analyze these vast data sets. The advancement of wearables has sparked the debate of whether this data belongs on the medical record. There are different theories of how it should be incorporated, which attempt to tackle how to organize and utilize such large amounts of data for individual patients. One thing is clear: the value of this data will have to be considered in determining in what capacity and to what extent wearable data will be on medical records.
The future of wearables is exciting, and as the medical field and technology continues to evolve, we must consider how best to use these devices and data.
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