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Wearable Tech in Healthcare: Possibilities and Pitfalls

Topic: Wearable Tech in Healthcare: Possibilities and Pitfalls

With post-pandemic health operations now a near-term reality, discussions around wearables are on the rise. How do healthcare organizations effectively deploy and defend this technology?

Remote care, which has become a critical part of health operations during the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to continue being a robust tool for providers and patients.

Telehealth doesn’t exist in isolation, however. Along with digital checkups and video consults, healthcare wearables offer a way for physicians to monitor and manage patient progress, even at a distance.

“Wearables offer a way to go beyond the typical metrics by providing detailed medical information,” says Ramsés Gallego, international CTO of CyberRes, which provides cyber resiliency-focused consultation as part of software provider Micro Focus. “In a post-pandemic world, this is critical — these devices could save lives.”

In practice, however, wearable health devices present possibilities and pitfalls. Here’s what healthcare organizations need to know about deploying and defending this technology to take advantage of its predictive capabilities.

The potential of wearables for remote patient monitoring is straightforward, according to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society: “Wearable technologies enable the continuous monitoring of human physical activities and behaviors, as well as physiological and biochemical parameters during daily life.”

Though this functional field began with relatively simple devices — such as smartwatches capable of monitoring steps taken and average heart rate — the market has now expanded to include more in-depth medical information.

At the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, researchers are developing wearable technology to monitor the overall health of patients with neurodegenerative disorders. The ONDRI@Home project aims to give practitioners an end-to-end perspective on patient health, rather than relying on point-in-time appointment data. The Waterloo work highlights the massive potential of connected healthcare devices.

Discussed: Wearable Tech in Healthcare: Possibilities and Pitfalls

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