Companies gathering their own health data from medical devices, including wearable technology, is another trend of the digital revolution of healthcare.
In the past, most people were content to get a physical exam once a year and then to check in with their doctors when something went wrong. But in the digital age, patients rely more often on prevention and maintenance and demand information about their health.
As a consequence, by investing in wearable technology systems that can provide up-to-date tracking of high-risk patients to assess the probability of a major health incident, healthcare companies are proactive. The wearable medical device market is projected to hit more than $27 million by 2023, a remarkable leap from almost $8 million in 2017, according to a recent survey.
Some of the most common of these devices include:
- Heart rate sensors
- Exercise trackers
- Sweat meters – used for diabetics to monitor blood sugar levels.
- Oximeters – monitors the amount of oxygen carried in the blood, and is often used by patients with respiratory illnesses such as COPD or asthma
Other incentives for healthcare companies that invest in these products:
Personalizes the experience of healthcare: medical devices offer patients a sense of control in the health improvement process.
Insurance pricing targets-Information gathered from wearable devices can allow insurers to more reliably rate the risk of illness for a patient.
Provides insurance incentives: reduced insurance rates can be received for patients who take preventive steps to maintain their health.
Provides opportunities for gamification: some medical devices such as fitness watches can produce competitive goals for users to achieve through exercise, diet and nutrition.
In addition, wearable devices will help healthcare businesses save money as well. One analysis showed that the U.S. healthcare system could save nearly $7 billion a year from health apps and wearables for preventive treatment.