wearable health monitoring devices, wearable technology in healthcare

Scoping Review of Wearable Technology in Healthcare

681
0

Please support Telehealth.org’s ability to deliver helpful news, opinions, and analyses by turning off your ad blocker.

In July 2022, researchers Kang and Exworthy published an article in JMIR Publications entitled,   Wearing the Future – Wearables to Empower Users to Take Greater Responsibility for Their Health and Care: Scoping Review. The researcher’s goal was to identify, summarize, and synthesize knowledge on how wearable technology in healthcare can empower individuals to take greater responsibility for their health and care. Suggestions were provided for health practitioners who work with consumers interested in using wearable health monitoring devices.

Kang & Exworthy examined medical and government literature during the study and used data from MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, HMIC, and Cochrane Library. After sifting through 1585 records, the researchers settled on 20 studies, accounting for more than 7,000 participants. They identified these three main topics of interest:

  • Barriers to wearable device use
  • Clinician support for the use of wearable health monitoring devices and the benefits for both patient and healthcare professionals
  • Changing patient behavior

Barriers To Using Wearable Technology in Healthcare 

Wearable device data accuracy has been a concern for some time, and to some extent, doubts about data accuracy have discouraged the use of wearable healthcare technologies. The report recommends regulatory oversight to ensure the quality of the data provided by such devices. 

Other cautions include:

  • Older users are often reluctant to use wearable health monitoring devices as they find the technology difficult to understand and manage. Operating some of these devices also requires coordination and agility, which some older people may not have. Small displays may make it difficult for older people to read outcomes. 
  • The report cautions that the cost of these devices should not broaden healthcare disparities between the wealthy and the poor. Healthcare disparities have worsened over the pandemic, with the most impoverished not always able to access quality healthcare despite their more significant needs. 
  • Privacy concerns have also arisen, with users worried that others may gain access to their healthcare data. 

Promotion of Wearable Health Monitoring Devices & Reducing Healthcare Disparities

Healthcare providers can play a significant role in encouraging clients to use healthcare monitoring devices safely. Clinicians are encouraged to consider the appropriateness of wearable health monitoring devices for the people they serve, using these suggestions:

  • Introduce. Educate clients on the advantages of wearable devices. The continuous supply of critical data can offer clinicians significant insights, providing a holistic view of the patient’s condition.
  • Proper use. If the client or patient purchases a device, be available to provide guidance about following printed directions, adequate placement of sensors if used, etc. 

Changing Behavior 

Wearable devices in healthcare can change patient behavior through progress tracking with positive reinforcement and reminders. Wearables can encourage users by offering encouragement when there is slight improvement and praise when the user achieves milestones.  

Conclusion

The review concluded that wearable technology in healthcare empowered patients and helped healthcare workers diagnose and monitor problems. Cautions about the accuracy of devices were duly noted. In the right environment, wearable technology in healthcare encourages self-monitoring, which can lead to changes in patient behaviors.

The researchers cautioned that wearable health monitoring devices shouldn’t widen healthcare inequities, recommending that devices “serve as an additional option for individuals to proactively manage their health care rather than acting as a replacement for any traditional mode of delivery.” Consumers wishing to obtain wearable technologies that are out of reach financially are encouraged to write to the device manufacturer to request discounts. Community involvement is likely needed to reduce healthcare disparities for wearable technology in healthcare and telehealth disparities, which is duly becoming an increasing focus.

What is Telehealth? Basic Technology Orientation for the Busy Practitioner

In this 2.5 hour, basic technology training, you will find a well-organized discussion of relevant basic research along with practical suggestions for making foundational decisions about your digital practice with cloud storage, backups systems, security software such as VPNs, HIPAA compliance and software purchasing, synchronous and asynchronous technologies, and much more.

Disclaimer: Telehealth.org offers information as educational material designed to inform you of issues, products, or services potentially of interest. We cannot and do not accept liability for your decisions regarding any information offered. Please conduct your due diligence before taking action. Also, the views and opinions expressed are not intended to malign any organization, company, or individual. Product names, logos, brands, and other trademarks or images are the property of their respective trademark holders. There is no affiliation, sponsorship, or partnership suggested by using these brands unless contained in an ad. We do not and cannot offer legal, ethical, billing technical, medical, or therapeutic advice. Use of this site constitutes your agreement to Telehealth.org Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x