Maximize Patient Care with Wearable Technology
Fitness trackers are currently the largest wearable technology market. As the world becomes more health conscious, people want to take their health into their own hands. Providers can benefit from society’s willingness to embrace wearable technology to help proactively manage patient health. Some of the devices in the emerging wearable market are consumer-focused, providing information directly to the patient that can be used as a conversation starter toward better overall health. Other devices connect providers directly with vital patient statistics that allow emergency response in critical situations.
Whether your patients require self-monitoring devices or real-time health alert wearables, chances are most could benefit from some sort of healthcare wearable technology. Here are the top healthcare wearable technology gadgets that are taking the market by storm.
Continuous Blood Pressure Monitors
Cardiovascular disease is the largest cause of death in the United States, and while portable blood pressure monitors have been available for quite some time, they are cumbersome to use and rely on old technology that isn’t always accurate.
The latest technology in wearable blood pressure monitors looks much like a fitness band, don’t rely on pressure for readings, and can be worn all day. Patients are updated immediately when their blood pressure changes so that they can respond immediately. These new devices put life-saving tech in the hands of the consumer, and the data harvested by the device gives providers a wealth of information to form effective long-term care plans.
In 2015, Medtronic took pacemakers to a new level by creating the first remote-monitored system. The device connects via bluetooth to the patient’s cell phone, tablet, or other hand-held device to allow real-time monitoring of effectiveness, device health, and battery life.
The Medtronic pacemaker app can be configured to alert the patient’s managing physician in the event of defibrillation or device malfunction. Not only does it help the patient stay engaged with his own health, but it keeps doctors informed so that proactive steps can be taken instead of subjecting the patient to a potential life-threatening emergency.
App-Enabled Hearing Aids
Patients enjoy having the freedom to change the volume and noise-cancelling features of their hearing aids, but making those adjustments typically requires fiddling with the device repeatedly to find just the right balance for the given situation.
The TruLink app, available for the iPhone, allows patients with hearing aids to adjust their device without removing it, and provides the capability to set levels for commonly frequented locations. With the app, users can also stream phone calls, music, and media directly from their bluetooth-enabled iOS device without the typical buzzing, ringing, or whirring commonly associated with these types of activities. Between the convenience and the clarity, patients are sure to make better use of their hearing aids when they use the coupled app.
Sleep Study Wearables
Sleep apnea is a common condition that can present a host of health complications, but it’s difficult to manage long term. In the past, the only way to monitor a patient’s sleep was to conduct a sleep study at a clinic. However, sleep studies can be problematic in themselves, given that people don’t always exhibit typical sleep patterns away from home.
Modern sleep wearables allow patients to wear devices and even garments that contain all the same sensors available at a sleep clinic. Patients can use these devices to monitor their apnea long term. Care providers can use associated software to harvest and analyze regular data in order to facilitate long-term solutions on a case-by-case basis.
App-Enabled Glucose Monitors
For many people, monitoring glucose means keeping track of what they eat and when they eat it. Traditional methods require manual tracking of blood sugar levels against carbohydrate intake, physical activity and medication administered. Missing a single entry could skew results, making treatment plans difficult to determine.
The LifeScan Bluetooth Glucose Monitor helps patients keep track of glucose levels at present, and also over time. Data is transmitted directly to the patient’s cell phone, where he can view test results over time, and act on information in times of immediate need. Additionally, patients can share the data with their healthcare providers, caregivers, or family members through text or email.
If you have an idea for a healthcare wearable device and you need an app to fit your needs, talk to Gate6. We are Phoenix’s premier medical application development agency. Call us with your idea; we’d love to talk to you!