Personal fitness trackers are the rage right now. One of the hopes for these types of devices is that the data will be able to be used by physicians to keep their patients healthy. But will the data generated be of any use to the healthcare ecosystem? A recent article in Venturebeat suggests not:
“… sources in the medical devices, digital health, and healthcare industries say that most doctors have little time for, or interest in, using wellness data collected by wearable devices… A doctor might be interested in knowing whether or not a patient wears a Fitbit or a Jawbone wearable to count steps, and even encourage the habit, but they do not want to receive a constant flow of biometrics data from patients.”
Of course doctors don’t want to monitor the raw data from fitness wearables. But they don’t have to. Algorithmic analysis of data trends will be able to flag critical parameters and alert healthcare professionals as needed. The data will be able to provide important information about health factors monitored over the course of time, not simply a snapshot of those factors when the patient is examined in the physician’s office.
The data being tracked by fitness bands and other health-specific wearable devices will be translated from data into meaningful and actionable information that doctors will need to effectively keep their patients healthy, which will increasingly be the goal of healthcare.