The healthcare industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace. New technologies and innovations are continually emerging that can improve the quality of patient care and reduce costs, including wearable medical devices.
Wearable technology can be worn or attached to monitor or collect data. The concept has been around for decades and has become increasingly popular with the larger population over the years.
Wearable medical devices have revolutionized patient care in a number of ways. These devices have helped caregivers reduce the time they spend with patients, reduce the need for hospital stays, and allow patients to live more independently. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the benefits of wearable devices in healthcare.
How Wearables Are Revolutionizing Healthcare
Today’s medical technology offers patients access to high-tech solutions for many common ailments. From diagnostic testing to prescription drugs, there’s no shortage of new medical solutions. These innovations, however, are no longer exclusive to hospitals and research labs. Thanks to wearable medical devices, people are more connected to their health than ever before.
Devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers can monitor heart rate and provide notifications of abnormal readings. They can also store digital medical records, which are all accessible on mobile devices. Some even have remote monitoring capabilities. As a result, these wearable devices have transformed the way we treat chronic conditions and minor ailments.
83% of physicians find value in data that’s reported from wearable devices. Global sales projections for the healthcare IoT market are expected to grow from $113.7 billion in 2019 to $332.7 billion by 2027. The growth of certain connected health programs depends on wearable devices with embedded IoT sensors. More specifically, devices that are designed to simplify healthcare delivery and increase operational efficiencies.
The Benefits of Wearable Medical Devices
Medical wearable devices can help patients get the care they need, track their health, and stay connected to loved ones. They can also help improve daily life, such as tracking mood or medication adherence. These devices are changing the way we look at healthcare, and patients are benefiting from them in many ways.
Let’s explore some of the potential benefits of medical wearables. Here they are in a nutshell:
- Health Tracking – Most wearable devices can track your health metrics for a lifetime. They can also help you set health goals and track their progress over time. This can help you stay motivated and on track with your health goals.
- Better Healthcare Awareness – With the growing popularity of wearable devices, people are now likely to turn to wearable devices to help manage their health. Wearable devices can provide users instant access to valuable information about their health, including heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen.
- Reduced Emotional Stress – Many wearable devices can help you track your emotional health. They can help you identify and manage symptoms such as stress, anxiety, or depression. This can help you experience less emotional stress and have more control over your life.
- Improved Performance During Exercise – Many wearable devices come with built-in features for heart rate monitoring. This can provide you with real-time updates on your heart rate during exercise and help you improve your performance.
- Better Sleep Tracking – Many wearable devices come with integrated sensors for sleep tracking purposes. This can provide you with an accurate picture of your sleep quality and help you improve your sleep by tracking your sleep patterns.
- Better Treatment Monitoring – In certain instances, wearable medical devices can provide more data for monitoring and treatment, especially when used in tandem with other medical devices.
Remote Patient Monitoring’s Progressions with Wearable Technology
The application of RPM use cases has rapidly evolved from its initial limitations. This is partially due to newer health-tracking advancements introduced through wearable technology.
Now increasingly being used during treatment of numerous conditions, patients and physicians both benefit from patients who wear them.
Here are a few examples of how wearables are used for remote patient monitoring.
Chronic Disease Management
Management of a condition can be a complex undertaking for patients and physicians alike. The precise level of detail involves manual tracking, recording, and analysis of the following statistics:
- Heart rate
- Body temperature
- Blood glucose levels
Wearable tracking devices can automatically aggregate this data and sync it to physician-managed telehealth systems. Designated use could range from analysis to patient EMR recordkeeping. The wearable device’s consistent tracking of the data ensures accurate and up-to-date entry.
Certain devices also allow users to set up alert systems, which are meant to notify physicians of exceeded thresholds and other important treatment updates. The bottom line with wearable technology is that it increases efficiency in the data collection process. The task doesn’t require much human interference as a result, which can lessen the manual data tracking responsibilities of device owners.
Behavioral Health Treatment
Patients dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive challenges, or other mental health issues may require constant supervision of some sort, even if it’s from afar.
Fortunately, caretakers can monitor out-of-reach behavioral health patients with wearable personal safety devices. This has provided knowledge of a patient’s whereabouts creates one less thing for them to worry about.
Certain devices also have cross-communication capabilities, making it possible for caretakers to check in with patients from afar. Others designed with geofencing technology can call or text caregivers when patients wander away from their homes. Furthermore, devices can trigger appointment reminders or reminders for medication. All of the aforementioned capabilities can increase treatment efficacy.
Physicians may prescribe exercise or other wellness programs for certain conditions. Ranging from temporary to chronic, the conditions that typically warrant this prescription include injury rehabilitation, weight control, and anxiety or depression. Wearable devices for diabetes are also available.
Fitness wearables can effectively track key vitals (e.g., heart rate) and prescribed regimen performance. Devices like “connected scales” are also integrated to measure weight and related statistics. For forgetful patients, fitness wearables serve as a reminder to finish programs to the end. The accountability provided is intended to motivate patients to hit their fitness goals. Physicians can quickly access this automatically-uploaded data from patient records.
With built-in accelerometers, wearable fitness devices can also share real-time data with trainers while a patient recovers from surgery or an injury. Furthermore, trainers can immediately respond to the provided data.
Validic x Trapollo
Trapollo and Validic™, a market leader in personal health data solutions, joined forces recently to deliver RPM-supported hardware, support and software services. The two organizations recognized providers and payers’ efforts to deploy scalable, comprehensive RPM programs as increasing market demands pointed to:
- Stronger device procurement and support
- Broad data connectivity
- Analytics capabilities
Both have since progressed towards filling a market need for configurable RPM solutions–more specifically, an end-to-end solution that backs scaled deployments and broadens access to various home health devices.
This coalition has merged Trapollo’s hardware provisioning and logistical strengths with Validics’ data connectivity and analytical strengths. Existing developments have dynamically produced a modular and tailored approach to RPM, further enabling organizations to meet their needs following the implementation of solutions.
Traditional RPM solutions limit organizations to the management of single-condition patients while restricting them to a certain number of devices. Trapollo and Validic have since rectified that with flexible solutions that allow organizations to manage several conditions using a number of devices.
Through this partnership, the two organizations seek to expand patient support across all risk levels, and also provide more hands-on support to inexperienced health device users.
With Trapollo, patients and providers have wider access to technical assistance, logistics, and enterprise support designated for device provisioning. As a result, healthcare organizations and providers are no longer restrained by traditional device limitations in RPM. Access to a wider selection of technology equips them to choose devices that better fit their populations’ needs.Trapollo provisions, ships, and manages the devices or device kits. This arrangement further enables patients to receive the technical support needed upon the setup of their devices.
What The Future Holds for Healthcare Wearables
There’s already growth in the number of common conditions that leverage the use of wearable health monitoring devices to streamline treatments. However, newer and more innovative use cases are always in development. Contact Trapollo today to bring your connected health vision to life.