Wearable Technology in the Healthcare Industry
Having been an avid runner and a triathlete for over ten years, I’ve gotten used to (and dependent on) using fitness watches to track such things as distance, pace, number of calories burned and heart rate. Over time, these watches became more advanced with their biometric sensors now tracking VO2 max, vertical oscillation, ground contact time and much more. Information tracked can be automatically uploaded for live tracking and social media sharing. The impact of this so-called “wearable technology” is not only seen in the fitness industry, it is being felt in education, communication, and entertainment. The greatest potential just may lie in the healthcare industry.
Wearable technology has started to transform healthcare by assisting doctors in the operating room and providing real time access to electronic health records. The full potential of wearable technology in healthcare goes beyond directly assisting doctors. Patients can now constantly monitor their own health. In 2014, Sony, LG and Garmin introduced devices that track everything from heart rate and blood pressure to a patient's O2 saturation.
As the precision and scope of data progress, wearables hold the potential to reduce healthcare costs by identifying trends and unities among certain populations -- thereby allowing for better preventive care. Wearables can not only engage patients and assist in personal wellness, they can move healthcare beyond individual monitoring and treatment toward more effective health management.
Steffian Bradley Architect’s experience of having worked with more than 200 healthcare organizations and more than 1,000 healthcare projects worldwide will continue to prove vital in leading these organizations through the process of planning for tomorrow while using the resources of today.
Technology may never fully replace the all-inclusive health record, the detailed diagnosis or the personal conversation between provider and patient, but the data collected from these devices can provide a broader range of information. Healthcare organizations can access the power of that data to involve patients and develop more effective and more tailored approaches to care, thereby lowering the overall cost of care.
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