Wearable devices have the potential to empower patients in their own healthcare, but for broader adoption, health systems need to improve security and connectivity. Healthcare organizations that are making progress in this area are focusing on data security and interoperability, combining personal technologies with healthcare. This has the potential to lead to more effective, proactive, and patient-centric care.
According to a report from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and KLAS Research, wireless technology is becoming increasingly important in healthcare IT. The top uses for wireless technology among health IT executives surveyed include telehealth for clinicians, wireless Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), video monitoring, cellular connectivity throughout premises, Radio Frequency Identification/Real-Time Location Systems (RFID/RTLS), telemetry over Internet Protocol (TIP), wander management/patient elopement/infant abduction, and patient wearables integrated with the EHR. These findings are based on a survey representing the digital footprint of about 40% of U.S. hospitals.
The report also suggests that this will give patients a larger role in managing their health by providing them with more tools to track their progress and monitor their health at home. The authors of the report include market intelligence firm Digital Health Analytics, who emphasize the importance of data security and interoperability in these devices. Overall, the use of wearable devices has great potential for improving patient outcomes and increasing patient engagement in their own care.