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Are Wearable Devices Connected Health ?

June 2, 2016

Connected Health.   Ask five people what it means to them and you’ll likely get six answers.  Deloitte defines Connect Health (cHealth) as “technology-enabled integrated care delivery that allows for remote communication, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring.”

Although wearable devices are part of cHealth,  it is more than "just" wearable devices. However a large part of the industry is focused on the appeal of wearable technologies and the dramatic changes that it promises patients, providers and health insurance companies.

 

At CES 2016 in Las Vegas, and no doubt at other CES and medical device shows around the world, we have seen an explosion in the number of wearable or related medical devices designed for use in the home by the patient. Many are designed to help patients with chronic conditions or with medication compliance – not only the measurement (pulse oxygen, blood pressure, pills taken, pills missed) but in reporting to the patients’ healthcare provider of any normal or abnormal results.

 

 If they have not already done so, just about all of these companies are in the process of developing their own cloud based solutions – with the desire to engage physicians in reviewing patient data - of course the expectation is that the physician or some one in the physicians office will do this on "their" cloud solution.

 

Let’s follow a scenario where a relatively small practice has 500 patients, 10% being monitored by some type of wearable device.  Lets say that these 50 patients purchase their devices from 10 different companies, each with their own cloud solution – requiring someone from the physicians office to access 10 platforms to monitor 50 patients.   Some app enabled devices leverage email, which may or may not be HIPAA compliant, to send measurement information to the physician, but that likely only adds to the confusion as to how patients communicate information to their physicians.

 

Continuing the current model where wearable device companies develop their own individual cloud solutions will prevent cHealth from realizing its full potential - it is too cumbersome for the health system to consume. Lack of integration has plagued the healthcare industry and it seems that, unfortunately, the current approach of wearable device companies echos the non-integrated past of the healthcare industry.

 

The Willowglade Technologies developed Personalized Patient Experience Platform (PPEP) is designed to be a true enabler of cHealth as defined by Deloitte.  Together with partner medical device manufacturers we create and enable the “information value loop.”  With wearable devices connected from multiple device manufacturers a single engagement platform can be leveraged to capture, notify, facilitate collaboration, communication, coordination and personalized patient education.

 

 

 

Having the patient wear a device for monitoring purposes is not truly engaging the patient. Nor is a patient portal, or a stand alone "app." None of these "solutions" are truly solutions. The ability to coordinate, monitor, manage and engage with patients, collect and monitor Patient Reported Outcomes AND collect data from wearable devices on a single platform enables cHealth - assisting healthcare provider organizations to effectively deliver of value based care and positioning them for the future of healthcare reimbursement.

 

To learn more about the PPEP please feel free to visit our website www.willowgladetechnologies.com or contact us at info@willowgladetechnologies.com

  1. Deloitte Center for Health Solutions “Accelerating the adoption of connected health,”  2015.

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