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Health Tech: How Do Wearables Benefit Patients and Doctors

We have all sorts of choices for wearables these days: smartwatches, fitness bands, smart rings, and sensor patches. But do they actually help keep us healthier?

According to some studies, wearables are the fastest growing consumer technology segment. They help us communicate with others, track our activities, and generate a mountain of health-related information. But are they helping? A group of researchers reviewed 20 different studies from Europe and the US to find out. They discovered that about half of the patients surveyed would use digital health tools more if their doctors encouraged them, but only 10% said their providers recommended wearables. Doctors tend to appreciate the hard data that they get from wearable devices, compared with the subjective descriptions that their patients give about their health. But one barrier to increased use of wearables for health is the patient; forgetting to wear the device, losing it, or just losing interest are all factors, along with the cost of the devices themselves. Ongoing support and encouragement from healthcare professionals will help maintain patient use of wearables.

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Written by Alfred Poor

Alfred Poor is an "Into Tomorrow" Contributing Correspondent, health tech speaker, writer and the founding Editor of Health Tech Insider: a website and industry newsletter that covers wearable and mobile technology for health and medical applications. With more than 2,400 articles published on the site, he has a broad perspective of where the global industry stands today and where it’s headed... Into Tomorrow.

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