Wearable Devices Growing but Data Collection Remains a Challenge

Data from wearables doesn't always flow into EHR systems or doesn't appear in usable format
Data from wearables doesn't always flow into EHR systems or doesn't appear in usable format

HealthDay News — Wearable devices are increasingly being used by patients to record health care data, and the number is expected to grow, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

Over the next 15 years, the overall market for smart wearables within health care is expected to increase at an annualized rate of 13.6%, with nearly 250 wearables identified in the medical field. According to the article, wearables can improve health care outcomes, especially for patients who need to control chronic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. Physicians who receive data between visits can better determine the health status of their patients, which is important in the area of value-based care reimbursement. Patient-generated data can help physicians to better target treatments. 

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However, data from wearables do not always flow into electronic health record (EHR) systems, or do not appear in a format that physicians can use. Intermediary software that works in conjunction with EHR systems exist, and software options could allow patients to upload data from their wearables to an application that processes the information and presents data in an accessible format to physicians via the EHR.

"Where it will work best is when the data is presented in a dashboard format that's easy for the physician to read and also when they can get alerts if something is out of whack," said John Sharp, senior manager of Personal Connected Health Alliance, according to the article.

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