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The Provider Perspective: Wearables Emergence Creates Cutting-Edge Service

Staff, Appian
September 9, 2015

Healthcare providers continue to face the challenge of improving the quality of care while reducing cost and remaining compliant with industry standards.

The use of wearables may hold the answers for providers to more easily connect with their patients to track data more openly around health status, preventative measures and treatment outcomes. Mobile and wearable devices are already helping facilitate in-home care delivery today, and the trend is rising. By 2020, a projected 70 percent increase in home health aides signifies the importance of secure device management solutions outside of traditional care facilities.

For healthcare providers, interactions between people, process, and data can be dynamic, ad hoc, and unpredictable. And, with all the changes taking place in an already complex environment, it's more important than ever to make sure your technology is an enabler, not a roadblock. Wearable technology has made huge strides in allowing individuals to better-manage their own health and health data. Healthcare providers must have the policies and technology platform in place to consume that data, collaborate around it with the patient and colleagues, enact a treatment decision, and monitor progress.

Let's examine a few scenarios where wearables may hold transformation value in healthcare provider services.

Imagine an advanced glucose and blood sugar device with the potential for patients to revolutionize how they monitor and manage diabetes. Such a device could be made portable, allowing patients to instantly check their blood sugar levels in the morning after the gym or at work in between meals. The scores would be collected by the device and automatically sent to the patient's physician on a monthly basis ñ drastically reducing the time spent dedicated to routine checkups. As a result of this acceleration, one-on-one time spent between the patient and doctor could be devoted to discussing exercise programs or developing the proper diet to live a healthier lifestyle.

Or perhaps a nurse could track real-time monitoring of in-home hospice patients. When caring for the terminally ill, nurses require the ability to work hands-free in order to ensure a comfortable setting.

Enter Google Glass.

Thought to be off the map from the enterprise technology scene, Google Glass is making a comeback at the business level, and healthcare seems to be a logical industry for adding value. In this scenario, a nurse would have their hands free in order to tend to the patient's needs ñ while filling out reports and checking off tasks with a simple tap to their pair of Glass. This method of care instantly becomes more friendly and natural to the patient since a nurse would no longer have to stand over a bed and compile notes on a clipboard.

As more and more of the business world begins to accept and implement wearable technology, healthcare may provide the first concrete evidence of success. The industry is already on the forefront in mobilizing healthcare providers, so an increase in wearable hardware mayhold big promise for worldwide healthcare.

-Mike Ingrisano, Media Relation Manager