Smartwatches, fitness trackers, sport watches and medical devices such as Holter monitors and glucometers – collectively known as wearables – are evolving how healthcare is delivered. For the first time in history, technology is enabling individuals to shift from being passive recipients to active participants in their health. The latest innovations in wearable tech, like the new waterproof Fitbit, are enabling users to take control of their health in new ways.
From monitoring sleep cycles to counting calories and tracking daily steps, wearable devices provide users and providers with valuable insight into individual health, enabling them to recognize trends (sleeping too little), change behaviors (put down that second donut) and track progress toward goals (exceed 10,000 steps a day).
Consumers are not the only ones that benefit from the insights wearables provide. On a population level, this data can help an employer build better wellness programs by promoting healthy lifestyles and uncovering risk factors in employee populations.Wearables can also help health plans get closer to their customers by providing a method for monitoring key health metrics in patients with chronic conditions from heart disease to diabetes, which could help enhance treatment plans, improve disease management and provide opportunities for early intervention.
“As technology continues to play a greater role in U.S. healthcare policy and programs, health plan leaders, employers and payers naturally have questions about incorporating wearables into a population health management strategy,” says BioIQ Chief Operating Officer Kevin Kenney. In a new Industry Insight interview, he addresses many of these questions and shares the top 10 considerations for organizations as they develop a strategy for integrating wearable tech into a population health program.