Are you one of the many that have joined the personal fitness trackers revolution? The wearables market is exploding, with nearly a quarter of the US population wearing one to track their daily lives.
Of course, most of this new technology appeals to a younger audience. Over 38 percent of people 25 to 34 use wearable technology regularly.
But even those 55 and over are starting to see the benefits, with 13.2 percent of this age group trying out this technology and using it to help them be more fit, healthier, and to get in shape.
Wearable technology doesn’t stop with these elective units you can buy at your favorite big box store. As people adjust to having wearable technology on their arms 24/7, there are many other ways to integrate healthcare into the equation. Download an app and monitor your health in different ways.
Remote patient monitoring is on the rise. In the very near future, we’ll be able to stop guessing based on what a person says, and act based on the results delivered through all kinds of technology. You’ll no longer have to converse with a generalist, but can speak directly with medical staff with experience in your ailment, no matter where in the world they live.
It’s an exciting time to be in medicine.
It’s also scary. If you’ve ever worried about how safe your data is while it exists within the four walls of your office, imagine the new issues that can arise when those four walls no longer define your practice.
And how will it impact your EHRs? Especially when you have data coming at you in many different ways. How do you ensure successful integration of remote device data with your EHR files?
Confidentiality - Being able to track a patient 24/7 opens up a world of opportunity. No longer do you have to rely on data taken at one point in time, in an office or lab, where results can be skewed. However, privacy and security can be compromised like never before. Proper protocols are more important than ever as you take in, analyze, and dispose of real-time information.
Integrity - There are many challenges when collecting and storing real-time data. While previous collections were a one-time event, through wearable technology, you’ll be able to view a patient’s data 24/7, 365 days a year. Do you have the tools and resources for collecting it all and keeping it secure? How about protocols for sorting through it and making determinations about potential problems? How will you reconnect with your patients when a red flag arises? And how will you ethically handle all of this? Systems become more critical as we move into this new frontier.
Governance - Of course, this isn’t just about you, your patients, and the third-party system you choose to use. You’ll also have a wide variety of governing entities that are there to ensure you’re doing things the right way. That can change based on state by state requirements, health plan guidance, and through HIPAA laws. Does your technology meet all requirements? Are your security practices flexible enough to change and grow?
The future is filled with excitement and wonder. But if you’re not building your systems to manage it all, you risk being left behind.
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