Currently Wearables are used by mostly “Fit” and active patients. Taking the Fitbit Flex as an example as I use it myself.

If Chronic Disease patients (CHF,COPD,Diabetics,Obesity) would use such a device then they and their PMDs would have an objective measurement of their activity level, i.e. how much they walk in a day, week, or month. For myself, having the daily and weekly totals is a motivation in and of itself. "Oh good, I walked over 5,000 steps this week four days" etc. If this information could be provided to my PMD in an easy fashion like average steps per day or some other number then the physician knows how active his patient is and can use that data in a simple fashion in talking with his/her patients. "Jack you have increased your walking from 3,000 steps to 4000 steps in the last six months. Look how good your BP is, etc." I am sure healthier patients would result which would result in lower costs overall.

I am sure Sentara/Optima has some sort of plans for integrating Fitbit data into the Epic system for a patient and their provider. Otherwise why would they be giving a $99 device to patients just for signing up with Optima Insurance? This is a real world example happening right now. The details are unknown to me but if utilized by 10% of their patients how could it not lesson hospitalizations and costs. Massive amounts of data will be available that can be analyzed. On the other hand if the PMD gets overloaded with a lot of data everyday rather than presented cleanly and simply then it will be ignored by the physician. Epic has a reputation for doing nothing to make the daily life of the PMD more efficient. Even more cynically, I can see insurers using the data to weed out riskier and more expensive patients kind of like they do with smokers. How are they going to motivate a sedentary patient to wear any sort of activity tracker that shows them just how little they actually do move? In the dresser drawer with that little bracelet.

Can you imagine how useful a wearable would be if it could keep accurate track of vital signs in real time while the patient is at home? I am pretty sure someone is developing such a device right now. HR/pulse data is available right now but as of yet doesn't integrate into any sort of EHR that I am aware of.

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Posted in Cool Trends, Wearables
2 comments on “Currently Wearables are used by mostly “Fit” and active patients. Taking the Fitbit Flex as an example as I use it myself.
  1. Jack Seavy says:

    2015 will begin to create a “Sick Care” and “Health and Wellness” Ecosytem….

  2. Jack Seavy says:

    I recently setup a Microsoft HealthVault Account and a Web MD Account as these are two big options in the storage of your Personal Health Record in the Cloud.
    These are fairly simple to set up. I linked my Fitbit data to both accounts without problems. The data is seamlessly transmitted daily in a fairly usable and readable fashion. I also linked lab data from the LabCore Beacon site to the Microsoft site without problems. Now getting my health records from my personal physicians EMR and Sentara’s Epic system has been impossible. All information has to be manually entered.

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