The Future of Healthcare Wearables: Who Will Win the Imbroglio?

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We were serious when we said that every week seems to see the launch of a new gadget that snaps onto your wrist or ankle and offers to map your run, count your pushups, track your heart rate, monitor your calories or even your exposure to UV light. The past year has proven to be successful for technology companies developing healthcare wearables – Jawbone Up, Microsoft Healthband, Fitbit, Apple Watch. Joining the players in the market is Google, with its Google Health Tracker. But, with the surge of healthcare apps and wearables, who will rise above the noise? This week’s compilation of articles highlights the launch of Google Health Tracker, issues on user data privacy on Apple Watch, and the futue of personal health in the digital age.

Happy Reading!

1. Privacy a priority during health system’s Apple Watch deployment

By Judy Mottl, published on Fierce Mobile Healthcare

Between leaked confidential messages and the occasional celebrity nude, we’ve seen our fair share of fumbles when it comes to user data privacy (or lack thereof) on smartphones. However, when it is comes to patient data, there is no room for mistakes. mHealth security, user privacy and regulatory concerns are a major priority and a serious issue when it comes to mHealth technology and requires much attention, according to Michael Ash, chief transformation officer at Nebraska Medicine. Read on to discover the security strategies surrounding these technological endeavors.

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2. Personal Health In The Digital Age

By Brian Tilzer, published on Techcrunch

With nearly 86% of the population connected online, how do we adopt personal health to everything that the digital age offers? According to Brian Tilzer, technologies must be focused on the user – “we need to put personal (tech) back in personal healthcare,” he claims. Tilzer states that technology companies must be more personalized and customer-centric, customizing features to the needs of the user. Additionally, he says that companies should be making an effort to keep patients adherent to their medications – an issue that is largely shifting with today’s patient advocacy groups and collaborations between Pharma and patients. Continue reading to view the future of digital health developing faster than expected.

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3. Google’s New Wearable to Take Health Tracking to the Next Level

By Mridula Alokeshi, published on Tech.co

“According to Wired Magazine, as of October 2014, there were 266 wearable devices on the market, 118 of which tracked fitness.” As if this outrageous number wasn’t enough, Google joined the ranks with the release of Google Health Tracker, a wearable that keeps track of heart rate, skin temperature, and heart rhythm, along with environmental conditions like light exposure and noise levels. It can also monitor blood pressure. However, unlike other fitness wearables, Google Health Tracker will only be used by the medical community as opposed to regular consumers. Google hopes to develop a product that can reduce the risk of diseases going from bad to worse due to late diagnosis.

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4. A Patient’s Eye View of the Digital Doctor

By Ben Adams, published on PMLive

We’ve discussed the role of technology assisting in health tracking, particularly Google’s goal to help patients diagnose diseases earlier. In this article, Ben Adams covers the subject of doctors and patients using new tech and social media to help with long-terms conditions. “Pharma is a vital part of any healthcare conversation. To me, I would like them to be in the room when I talk about my medications with my doctor,” he claims. Although users are still learning to adopt to these new technologies, Adams believes that the collaboration between these doctor, patient and Pharma can help save the lives of people.

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5. Stethoscopes to the Recycle Bin? Hold on Just a Heartbeat!

Published on Verix Blog

The development of new, more accurate and compact devices could soon consign the iconic Victorian stethoscope to the vault of medical history. Accompanying the stethoscope into the vault are the analog versions of the ophthalmoscope, the ECG machine, glucose monitor and even the brain scanner. This bold new digital health industry looks set to disrupt healthcare much as digital music finished off the LP. But disruption is trickier in practice than merely tweeting about it.

Here, we bring you some of the newest, shiniest devices looking to take their place in the doctor’s bag and the reasons they may take a little longer to get there than the hype would suggest.

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